International Medical Corps’ Emergency Response Team Continues to Assess Humanitarian Needs in Ukraine Amid Threat of Further Violence
March 3, 2014 – Los Angeles, Calif. – International Medical Corps’ Emergency Response Team continues its on-the-ground assessment in Ukraine, looking at emergency preparedness, as well as potential health needs arising from the risk of additional conflict in the country. Coordinating with partners on the ground, the team has already completed assessment in Crimea, and is currently visiting Dnepropetrovsk and Kharkov in the east, where tensions are rising following recent demonstrations. Media reports indicate the Russian military threatens assault on Ukrainian forces in Crimea if they do not surrender by dawn on Tuesday. However, the Russian Defense Ministry has dismissed these reports.
Protests that began peacefully in late November 2013 have turned deadly, with at least 88 reported killed in recent weeks. In addition, over 2,500 people, including protesters and police officers, have been injured.
International Medical Corps previously worked in Ukraine from 1999-2000, delivering essential medicines to health care facilities and training more than 500 local doctors and medical staff. The organization has also worked since 2000 throughout the region, implementing programs that aim to improve health and economic well-being in Russian Federation and responding to ethnic clashes in Kyrgyzstan. As a preeminent First Responder during conflict in Syria, Libya, South Sudan and Darfur, among others, International Medical Corps is well-placed to provide a comprehensive health and humanitarian response in Ukraine.
Since its inception 30 years ago, International Medical Corps’ mission has been consistent: relieve the suffering of those impacted by war, natural disaster, and disease, by delivering vital health care services and sustainable development projects that focus on training. This approach of helping people help themselves is critical to returning hardest-hit populations to self-reliance.