The International Rescue Committee serves refugees and communities victimized by oppression or violent conflict worldwide. Founded in 1933, the IRC is committed to freedom, human dignity, and self-reliance. This commitment is expressed in emergency relief, protection of human rights, post-conflict development, resettlement assistance, and advocacy.
A glimpse of what The International Rescue Committee was doing in April of this year:
The Displaced in Central African Republic Receive Emergency Supplies from An International Rescue Committee team in northwestern Central African Republic is distributing emergency supplies to some 21,000 people, most of them displaced by ongoing violence and living in dire conditions in the bush.
“So far, we’ve been able to provide critical items to 344 households, about 1,800 people, from six hard-hit villages,” says the IRC’s Baptiste Millet, who is helping to organize the deliveries in volatile Nana Gribizi district.
“We worked with communities to establish committees of six women and four men, who in turn, helped organize the distribution for their fellow villagers,” adds Millet.
The first distribution took place in an area on the frontline of fighting between insurgents and government soldiers.
“The uprooted people in this area are extremely vulnerable and at risk of getting caught in the cross fire if they try to return to their villages,” says Millet. “Their access to aid and services has been especially limited.”
The IRC is distributing items that include insecticide-treated mosquito nets, soap, cooking supplies, water containers and clothing, largely donated by UN agencies. AmeriCares has also contributed more than 1 million water purification sachets that the IRC will be supplying to displaced communities suffering high rates of water-borne diseases.
One of those villages is Ngoumourou, next on the list to receive IRC emergency supplies. Families from Ngoumourou have lost 17 children in recent months from diseases stemming from drinking contaminated water.
“People in the bush need access to clean water, “says Safaa Fakorede, an IRC environmental health engineer. “In the same 45 communities where we’re distributing supplies, we’re also giving training and tools to dig wells and conducting health and hygiene promotion activities.”
For the region's sick, the IRC continues to improve services at Kaga Bandoro Hospital, the only functioning health facility in the area. With IRC’s assistance, the hospital is treating about 180 patients a day, up from an average of six. We’ve also supplied new equipment, mattresses and linens.
The IRC’s health coordinator is training midwives and nurses on specialized care for women who have been sexually assaulted and doctors and other hospital staff on drug management care and improved treatment methods for malaria, diarrhea, measles and meningitis.
You can find this story and others like it by visiting The International Rescue Committee online right here: www.theirc.org