What to Watch for in 2018

As we all look ahead in 2018, it’s clear that for many a New Year does not hold the promise of a fresh start.

Here are some of the regions to watch in the coming year.

Yemen

Yemen’s civil war, now in its third year, has brought a steady deterioration of humanitarian conditions, leaving more than 3 million displaced. Hunger and food insecurity are major concerns with a quarter of the country’s 27 million people living on the brink of starvation, while an estimated 3.3 million children and nursing mothers are acutely malnourished.

International Medical Corps has expanded its water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) activities, which are critical factors in preventing the spread of illnesses like cholera and diphtheria.

We are supporting 77 health facilities and 14 mobile health clinics across Yemen by providing them with vital medications and supplies.

Syria Crisis

Syria’s civil war is about to mark its seventh year with no end in sight. The conflict has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and has sparked the largest population exodus since World War II. More than six million people are displaced inside Syria and over five million more have sought refuge in neighboring countries.

We are providing lifesaving aid in Syria and helping to support Syrian refugees and the communities that host them in Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq.

Democratic Republic of Congo

The people of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have endured decades of civil war, during which 5.4 million Congolese died from violence, hunger and disease.

While the war officially came to an end years ago, the eastern region of DRC remains one of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis zones. As we enter 2018, more than 13 million people need humanitarian assistance and protection — nearly six million more than at the start of 2017.

We are responding by:

  • Supporting dozens of health centers, clinics and hospitals by providing medical supplies, essential drugs and training for health workers
  • Treating and preventing sexual and gender-based violence (GBV) by integrating services into our primary health care programs and training doctors in GBV response
  • Working with health centers to construct and rehabilitate water sources

South Sudan

In February 2017, a famine was officially declared in two parts of Unity State. While an increase in aid helped lift the official famine classification in June 2017, the food security situation remains desperate and the number of people at risk of starvation has increased. Potential for disease is extremely high with large numbers of displaced people and reduced access to health care.

In 2018, it’s anticipated that as many as 2 million more people will flee the country and become refugees, while almost two thirds of the remaining population, facing hunger and possible famine conditions, will continue to need humanitarian assistance.

We currently operate in five of the country’s 11 states providing:

  • Basic primary health care, as well as higher-level care, including surgery.
  • Care for women and their children. We also support midwifery schools across the country.
  • Nutrition programs in hard-to-reach areas. This includes outpatient and inpatient treatment for acute malnutrition.
  • Comprehensive mental health services.

Libya

Continued armed conflict and political instability have impacted over three million people and hindered their access to basic services, safety and security.

Our current program activities are supporting some of the country’s most vulnerable populations — including internally displaced people, refugees and asylum seekers — and providing relief to Libya’s fractured health system.

In collaboration with the Libyan Coast Guard, we provide medical and nonfood item support to rescue-at-sea operations in the Mediterranean.

Nigeria

In Nigeria and the Lake Chad region people continue to flee the violence and conflict fueled by Boko Haram.

Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, with over 170 million inhabitants. Although it is oil-rich, health indicators are poor and a deepening food crisis in the country’s northeast is now Africa’s largest humanitarian emergency.

We have worked in Nigeria since 2013. Currently, we have teams in Sokoto, Kano and Borno states delivering programs in health, nutrition, water and sanitation, gender-based violence prevention and response, and food security.

Central African Republic (CAR)

Central African Republic (CAR) has been plagued by almost constant unrest and is one of the poorest countries in the world. For many of its nearly five million inhabitants, violence is an everyday threat. With numerous armed groups operating throughout CAR, internal displacement and refugee movements are common.

Due to ongoing conflict within CAR, our staff often operate under intense pressure as teams deliver emergency medical care and conduct surgeries for victims of conflict.

We provide nutrition screenings, treatment for acute malnutrition and community education with caregivers.

And we conduct trainings in remote areas to raise awareness about gender-based violence among community members and to advocate for the safety and protection of children and youth.

Cameroon

Today, Cameroon is hosting some 350,000 refugees from the neighboring countries of Nigeria and the Central African Republic (CAR), in addition to nearly 200,000 people internally displaced.

As Cameroon struggles to meet the needs of these resource-poor populations, we are there providing:

  • Basic health care
  • Nutrition
  • Gender-based violence prevention (GBV) and response services, child protection and;
  • Water, sanitation and hygiene services (WASH)

To help address the prevalence of malnutrition among these vulnerable populations, we are providing nutritional supplements to mothers and young children. We are also helping Cameroonians to strengthen local health care capacity by training traditional birth attendants and other health care providers throughout the country.

Puerto Rico and Dominica

Responding to the aftermath of Hurricane Maria

The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was one of the most intense and destructive in recent history, with multiple Category 5 storms.

Hurricane Maria followed less than two weeks after Hurricane Irma, traveling over Dominica on September 18th as a Category 5 storm, and later over Puerto Rico on September 20th. Many of the impacted regions are still struggling to recover from the devastation.

Our disaster response experts are on the ground in Puerto Rico and Dominica, coordinating with response agencies and local organizations in the aftermath of the Hurricanes. We are supporting health system recovery, running mobile medical units, restoring access to power and safe drinking water, and distributing emergency relief items.

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season will officially begin on June 1, 2018.

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International Med. Corps

International Med. Corps

International Medical Corps relieves the suffering of those impacted by conflict, natural disaster and disease by delivering medical relief and training.