LOS ANGELES, Sept. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --International Medical Corps announced at the 2011 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting a commitment to immediately address the nutritional and health needs of 200,000 individuals suffering from the effects of famine and drought in the Horn of Africa. International Medical Corps will scale-up targeted nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programs in drought-affected regions in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia.
"International Medical Corps is extremely grateful to the Clinton Global Initiative for helping to shine a light on the catastrophe that has hit the Horn of Africa, and the challenges we face in addressing the suffering of millions of people," said International Medical Corps President & CEO Nancy A. Aossey.
"Having worked in the region since 1991, when we were the first American NGO to deliver humanitarian relief inside Somalia during the civil war and subsequent famine, we recognize that the only way we can hope to mitigate these devastating cycles of drought and hunger is by combining relief with community-based activities that build resilience to these disasters and address the underlying causes of food shortages and poverty."
The UN has declared famine in six areas of Somalia where more than 400,000 children are at risk of starvation. Nearly a million Somalis have already streamed across borders to neighboring countries including Ethiopia and Kenya in search of basic resources.
International Medical Corps teams on-the-ground are working to reach severely malnourished people with lifesaving nutrition interventions in Somalia, Somaliland, Ethiopia and Kenya. True to the organization's mission, teams are simultaneously implementing training programs for local health workers to maximize the impact and sustainability of their relief efforts. As the humanitarian community predicts that famine conditions will intensify and continue into 2012, International Medical Corps is working to expand existing response programs to meet ongoing needs.
In Sool and Sanaag regions in Somaliland, International Medical Corps is implementing an emergency nutrition program targeting children under five and pregnant and lactating women. Through six Outpatient Therapy (OTP) sites and four outreach teams covering areas where there are no static OTP sites, the organization is working to reach severely malnourished children with nutrition screenings, supplementary feedings of nutrient-dense foods, and medications.
Near Dolo Ado in the Somali Region of Ethiopia, more than 120,000 Somalis are seeking shelter and basic resources in refugee camps. International Medical Corps, in partnership with the Ethiopian Government's Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA), is implementing supplementary feeding services for malnourished people, including the provision of nutrient-dense therapeutic foods. The organization is also building latrines; disseminating hygiene education and supplies; and training community members on gender-based violence awareness and prevention.
At Kambioos refugee camp in Kenya, a part of the Dadaab Complex which is today the largest refugee camp in the world, International Medical Corps and its partners are constructing a field hospital with nutrition services and a maternity center. The organization is also providing support to 154 health facilities throughout Samburu, Isiolo, Tana River and Laikipia districts and in the coming year, will expand feeding points within these drought-affected areas.
"This crisis is continuing to unfold and International Medical Corps is committed to helping the people in the Horn of Africa now and into the future," said Aossey.
For more detailed information about International Medical Corps' drought and famine response throughout East Africa, please visit: http://internationalmedicalcorps.org/page.aspx?pid=1348
Since its inception 27 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 that focus on training. This approach of helping people help themselves is critical to returning devastated populations to self-reliance. For more information visit: www.InternationalMedicalCorps.org. Also see us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI Annual Meetings have brought together nearly 150 current and former heads of state, 18 Nobel Prize laureates, hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations, major philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations, and prominent members of the media. These CGI members have made more than 2,000 commitments, which have already improved the lives of 300 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued in excess of $63 billion. The 2011 Annual Meeting will take place Sept. 20-22 in New York City.
This year, CGI also convened CGI America, a meeting focused on developing ideas for driving economic growth in the United States. The CGI community also includes CGI U, which hosts an annual meeting for undergraduate and graduate students, and CGI Lead, which engages a select group of young CGI members for leadership development and collective commitment-making. For more information, visitwww.clintonglobalinitiative.org.
SOURCE International Medical Corps