As part of its 2013 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action, International Medical Corps President & CEO Nancy A. Aossey and Global Ambassador Sienna Miller will announce a new “First Responders” commitment to assist communities in becoming their own first responders in emergencies and natural disasters. Over the next two years, International Medical Corps will commit to scaling up its successful “health care through training” model, to prepare families and health workers in Africa to better cope with recurring emergencies such as drought, food insecurity or seasonal flooding.
“Working alongside individuals, families and communities, we want to ensure these critical First Responders have the tools and resources they need to better cope in crisis,” said Aossey. “We can’t control earthquakes, floods and wars, but we can prepare families to absorb the shocks that they face. This investment creates an immediate ripple effect, fostering resilience and allowing those who are hardest-hit to get back on their feet and become more self-reliant.”
International Medical Corps, which has responded to every major humanitarian disaster of the last 30 years, will expand its successful training programs in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan and Zimbabwe, aimed at promoting physical and mental health and well-being. These programs include peer-to-peer education on nutrition and good child feeding practices, training of frontline health workers, and improving access to clean water and sanitation services.
“Resilience is the difference between children in an Ethiopian refugee camp dying of cholera because there is no clean water, rehydration salts or trained nurses – and those same children growing up healthy because the people in their community were educated and trained on proper sanitation and nutrition,” said Miller, who has seen International Medical Corps programs first-hand in Ethiopia, Haiti and the DRC.
As part of the First Responders commitment, Miller has brought together actors and public figures who have agreed to use their public platforms to raise awareness about the need to strengthen communities before disaster strikes. Current celebrity First Responders include: Global Ambassador Sienna Miller, along with Jamie Bell, Cary Elwes, Ben Foster, Chelsea Handler, Ben Harper, Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Kate Mara, Jaclyn Matfus, Robert Pattinson, Eddie Redmayne, Tom Sturridge, Mario Testino, Anna Wintour, and Robin Wright.