* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.
February 20, 2014 - Los Angeles, Calif. – An International Medical Corps Emergency Response team is deploying to Ukraine to monitor and address health needs as rising violence threatens a large-scale humanitarian crisis. Ongoing protests over the last 3 months turned deadly with at least 70-100 reported killed in the past week. In addition, hundreds of protesters and police officers have been injured in clashes with many more expected casualties.
Protests that began peacefully in late November 2013 have escalated causing a political divide across the country. Police and pro-government demonstrators continue to clash with protestors in favor of political and economic reforms. International Medical Corps shares the concerns of many in the humanitarian community that the escalating conflict could have a devastating impact on civilians in Ukraine, and hopes for a swift cessation of violence.
International Medical Corps previously worked in Ukraine from 1999-2000, delivering essential medicines to health care facilities and training more than 500 local doctors and medical staff. The organization has also worked since 2000 throughout the region, implementing programs that aim to improve health and economic well-being in Russian Federation and responding to ethnic clashes in Kyrgyzstan. As a preeminent First Responder during conflict in Syria, Libya, South Sudan and Darfur, among others, International Medical Corps is well-placed to provide a comprehensive health and humanitarian response in Ukraine.
About International Medical Corps
Since its inception 30 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 and sustainable development projects that focus on training. This approach of helping people help themselves is critical to returning hardest-hit populations to self-reliance. For more information visit: www.InternationalMedicalCorps.org. Also see us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.