Partnerships for Humanitarian Action
Collective Humanitarian Advocacy
International Medical Corps places strong emphasis on collective learning and action and is a member of coalitions and networks critical to the humanitarian and development field, including InterAction, the International Council of Voluntary Agencies, the Global Health Council, the NGO Leaders Forum convened by the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University, and the Society for International Development. Our contribution to improving coordination and response in humanitarian crises is demonstrated through our active participation and leadership roles in several mechanisms of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), such as the Global Health, Nutrition, Water / Sanitation/ Hygiene, and Protection Clusters, the IASC Sub-Working Group on Gender, the IASC Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, and the IASC Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support. As a member of the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership and the board of The Sphere Project, we continue our commitment to strengthen accountability to the affected communities in which we work.
Improving the Ability to Deliver Critical Medicines and Supplies
International Medical Corps forged new and strengthened existing partnerships in 2011, all aimed at improving our ability to deliver essential medical equipment and supplies quickly to those who are hardest-hit in times of emergency. We received tens of millions of dollars in Gift-in-Kind donations of medicines, supplies and equipment from Alpha Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, AmeriCares, BluSource, Bridge Foundation, Catholic Relief Services, Child First Meds, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Heart to Heart International, IMRES, International Aid, International Health Partners UK, International Relief Teams, International Orthodox Christian Charities, Luftfahrt ohne Grenzen, Aviation Without Borders, MAP International, Medical Teams International, Medicines for Humanity, Mercy Corps, Ministry of Health - Sudan, Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, Reinvention Wheels, UNICEF, USAID, and the World Food Programme.
Global Agreement with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to Strengthen Local Capacity
Recognizing the essential role of national actors and civil society in responding to humanitarian crises, International Medical Corps has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UNHCR committing to working collaboratively to strengthen the capacity of national and local NGOs in emergency response. Through this global agreement, the two organizations will explore avenues for enhancing the organizational and emergency response capacity of NGOs in various regions through training in the areas of administration, logistics, standards and guidelines, and team development and management.
Commonwealth Health Partnerships
With a presence in several Commonwealth countries, International Medical Corps is a partner of the Commonwealth Health Partnerships, an initiative dedicated to health in the 54 Commonwealth countries. Commonwealth Health Partnerships brings together Ministries of Health, government leaders and non-governmental organizations to focus on child and maternal mortality, communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases, health systems, current health issues and progress towards the Health Millennium Development Goals.
Building Skills to Address Gender-Based Violence
In partnership with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), International Medical Corps has launched a project to strengthen technical capacity of field practitioners to design, implement, and manage effective multi-sectoral interventions to prevent gender-based violence (GBV) and provide appropriate services for survivors. Together, International Medical Corps and UNFPA, with funding from the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), are addressing a gap in training opportunities to build technical knowledge, skills, and abilities to design and implement programs to address GBV. The project, which is initiated under the auspices of the Gender-Based Violence Area of Responsibility global working group of the IASC Global Protection Cluster, will offer GBV field practitioners a face-to-face training that will build both technical knowledge of GBV and practical skills in program design and management.
Enhancing Nutrition Response
On behalf of the Global Nutrition Cluster (GNC) and with support from UNICEF, International Medical Corps will be implementing global-level cluster coordination training and surge capacity development for rapid response to nutrition needs in emergencies. The project supports the GNC through training that will strengthen the capacity of GNC partners in cluster coordination and the humanitarian approach. International Medical Corps will also work with UNICEF to ensure that nutrition personnel are available for rapid deployment in emergencies. This collaboration will increase understanding of cluster coordination and partners’ roles in the nutrition cluster among agencies that work on nutrition in humanitarian settings. The collaboration between UNICEF and International Medical Corps demonstrates the principle of partnership that forms the core basis of the cluster approach and humanitarian reform.
Raising Mental Health Awareness
Despite the high disease burden, mental health is largely missed from the global health agenda and remains one of the most under-addressed areas of health care. This holds true in humanitarian response, where the World Health Organizaion (WHO) estimates that the rates of common mental disorders can double in natural disasters and conflict settings. Building on its strong programmatic experience, International Medical Corps partnered with the WHO and Johns Hopkins University to highlight mental health needs in humanitarian settings. This included a session hosted by the Humanitarian Health Caucus at the annual conference of the Global Health Council in Washington DC. This was followed by a Capitol Hill briefing for congressional staff and NGOs on “Addressing Mental Health in Humanitarian Crises”, with a panel of presenters that included International Medical Corps’ global mental health and psychosocial advisor, the WHO, the US State Department, and the US Agency for International Development.
Strengthening Accountability to Affected Communities
International Medical Corps is a member of the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP). HAP provides a framework for addressing principles of accountability and standards, and helps organizations design, implement, assess and recognize programs that are accountable to, and deliver quality for, communities affected by disasters, conflict, poverty and other crises.
Disaster Risk Reduction
To help communities around the world better prepare for and minimize the effects of disaster, International Medical Corps implemented comprehensive, whole-of-society training programs for health care workers at the national and local levels. For instance, we partnered with UNICEF to provide disaster risk reduction training for students, teachers, Ministry of Education staff and community members at 24 schools in an earthquake and flood-prone region of Jordan. In Afghanistan, projects funded by the European Commission and the US Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance are building the capacity of communities and front-line health workers to respond quickly to rapid onset emergencies and other acute humanitarian needs.