This June 20, World Refugee Day, International Medical Corps stands with the 42.5 million refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) – most of them women and children – who face uncertain futures in camps and urban areas where many are at risk of disease, malnutrition and poverty.
Driven from their homes due to outbreaks of conflict or natural disasters, refugees and IDPs struggle to find shelter and basic necessities like food, water and health care in already underserved host communities. Steadily growing numbers of refugees are moving to urban areas where there is greater chance of finding safety, economic opportunities and resources. However, already overtaxed host communities struggle to compete for basic services and jobs and refugees often fall victim to exploitation, insecurity and extreme poverty.
Having worked for nearly 30 years delivering lifesaving services for the most vulnerable, International Medical Corps is implementing vital programs for refugees throughout sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Middle East. This includes:
• Responding to the emergency health, nutrition and water needs of thousands of refugees streaming into South Sudan. Since the start of 2012, the influx of refugees and returnees into South Sudan has risen dramatically, particularly in Upper Nile State, as conflict and hunger continues to drive people across the border. International Medical Corps is deploying Emergency Response Teams to deliver critical health and nutrition services and to mitigate potential outbreaks of infectious disease among refugees.
• Scaling up emergency services for Syrians fleeing the rising conflict into neighboring countries. Since 2007, International Medical Corps has had teams in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan working to support Iraqi and other refugees. The organization is now also providing health care and psychosocial services for Syrian refugees through static and mobile clinics in Lebanon and Jordan.
• Working to protect the health and well-being of some of the largest refugee, IDP and host populations in Central African Republic, Chad, Darfur, Ethiopia, Kenya and Pakistan with generous support from the UN Refugee Agency, the U.S. Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration; USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, and other international donors.
International Medical Corps has set up www.InternationalMedicalCorps.org/refugee – an online resource regarding the organization’s Refugee Response work worldwide. By sharing the webpage with friends and family or making a contribution to International Medical Corps programs, supporters can help the organization continue its work in the most difficult environments to ensure the displaced have what they need to survive and rebuild their lives.