International SOS Provides On-the-Ground Assistance, Ongoing Support to Clients in Wake of Political and Civil Unrest in Mali

Mar 30, 2012, 09:56 ET from International SOS

LONDON, March 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- International SOS, the world's leading medical and security services company, and its joint venture partner, Control Risks, the world's leading global risk consultancy firm, are providing advice, evacuation planning and assistance to clients who have travellers, expatriates and employee family members in Mali.

Following a March 21 coup against President Amadou Toumani Toure's government, widespread looting and opportunistic crime has led to a breakdown in the security situation in Mali's capital city of Bamako. A crisis management team established last weekend at International SOS' Paris alarm center - supported by teams in London, Philadelphia, Germany  and Singapore - has been working to identify and communicate with 55 affected client organizations with more than 350 individuals in Mali to provide advice and direction, align support resources and plan for evacuations via commercial flights or charter during this critical time.

This global team, which includes International SOS and Control Risks security experts on the ground in Mali, also includes aviation and logistics personnel. Working with secured assets and specialized providers, the team has assisted 5 companies with evacuations and are working with others on current planning.

Simultaneously, the team in Mali is providing the company's network of 27 International SOS alarm centers around the world with up-to-the-minute reports to help their locally based members who may be seeking information on colleagues in Mali or conditions on the ground.

"We are always prepared for an event like this and are able to tap into our pre-established network in Mali to provide advice, evacuation planning and assistance to our clients," said Michael Hancock, Group General Manager, Assistance Worldwide for International SOS. "Many of the organizations we support also had their own emergency plans in place before the unrest. This is something we always advise – by preparing the organization and its employees in advance of an incident like what we are seeing in Mali, these companies have provided excellent duty of care and helped to ensure the safety of their employees."

International SOS estimates its alarm center in Paris has received more than 220 calls for assistance related to events in Mali since the incident began. The global security assistance center jointly operated by International SOS and Control Risks has seen an eight-fold increase in security-related activity during the period of airspace closure.

The team is currently working for 55 unique clients whose various employees, students, faculty and relief workers have been affected by the unrest. These clients include private corporations, non-profit organizations and universities.

International SOS and Control Risks have issued, and continue to push out, Travel Security Alerts to clients around the world. These alerts advise of the developing unrest and include timely analysis and advice on emerging security issues. International SOS and Control Risks have utilized their proprietary travel tracker system to identify client's employees who are currently located in the affected areas.

The security situation in Mali remains fluid. Clients and members who are affected or need evacuation support are encouraged to call one of International SOS' 27 alarm centers for assistance. Up-to-date information, advice, and analysis are available via the International SOS membership website (

The joint venture between International SOS and Control Risks provides travel security services for international travellers and expatriates.

About International SOS
International SOS ( is the world's leading medical & security services company operating from over 700 sites in 76 countries with 10,000 employees, led by 1,100 physicians and 200 security specialists. Our global services include medical and risk planning, preventative programs, in-country expertise and emergency response for travelers, expatriates and their dependents of over 70 percent of the Fortune 500 companies.

About Control Risks
Control Risks ( is a global risk consultancy specializing in helping organizations manage political, integrity and security risks in complex and hostile environments. Since its inception in 1975 the company has worked with more than 5,000 clients in over 135 countries worldwide. Their renowned expertise, breadth of services, and geographical reach of the organization enables them to help their clients meet their challenges and realize new business opportunities across the world.

SOURCE International SOS