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Finsbury charity joins rapid disaster response network

PUBLISHED: 07:12 20 March 2012

International Medical Corps’ emergency medical teams operating on those injured during fighting between pro and anti Gaddafi forces in Libya, at a field hospital near the town of Dafniya, June 2011

International Medical Corps’ emergency medical teams operating on those injured during fighting between pro and anti Gaddafi forces in Libya, at a field hospital near the town of Dafniya, June 2011

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A charity that provides medical aid in war zones and crisis areas around the world has been picked to join a crack-rapid disaster response network.

International Medical Corps (IMC), in Goswell Road, Finsbury, has spent the last 10 years working in war-torn countries and the aftermath of earthquakes, famines and floods in 24 countries across the globe, including Haiti, Pakistan and Somalia.

Now they are one of 34 organisation selected by the Government to get aid teams to catastrophes in the crucial first three days after they take place.

When a disaster strikes anywhere in the world, the new scheme means that up to £500,000 will be available to IMC immediately to get them to the heart of the action.

Without this fund, it can take a weeks for the cash to come through, meaning lives are lost unnecessarily.

Peter Medway, director of operations at IMC, said: “What this means is that the money is available on the day of the disaster, not six weeks later, which can sometimes happen.

“Most lives are lost on days one to three following an incident, so it’s important we get out there quickly.

“We have 10 years experience providing humanitarian relief – saving lives in disaster and conflict zones.

“We also tend to the needs of women and children, who tend to suffer in greater numbers during conflict, where sexual violence and rape are often used as a weapon of war.

“We have teams all over the world in some very dangerous places; Iran, Chechnya, Sudan, Bahgdad, Kabul, all the hot areas.

“It puts us in an excellent position to mobilise teams where they are needed quickly.

Mr Medway said he is very proud of operations the team have been part of.

“Our response in Haiti was great,” he said. “We weren’t present there before but we were providing medical services within 24 hours.

“And during the siege of Misrata in Libya we were the only international organisation doing emergency surgery.

“We performed around 1,500 life saving operations, which cost £500,000 – that is excellent value for money.

“The British government spent £1million sending a rescue team to Christchurch after the earthquake, and they only managed to pull two people out.”

For more information, visit internationalmedicalcorps.org.


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