With more than two decades working in the field with International Medical Corps, Stephen Tomlin, Vice President for Program Policy and Planning, offers rare insight into the humanitarian crisis in East Africa. In addition to establishing International Medical Corps’ program in Somalia in 1991, Stephen helped launch our programs in Rwanda, Bosnia and Honduras.
I’m on my way to East Africa, where the world’s worst humanitarian disaster is affecting some 12 million people. I have a strong personal connection to this region -- twenty years ago, I ran International Medical Corps' response to another famine in Somalia.
Even now, I vividly remember the suffering of sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, malnourished and in pain.
Today, two years without rain has turned crop fields into dried clay, causing widespread food shortages and famine throughout Somalia. Without any food and no end to the drought in sight, millions are struggling to survive. Many of those fleeing to refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia are dying along the way.
Two decades since responding to that first crisis, we’ve developed huge networks within Somalia, as well as Kenya, and Ethiopia. Our staff and partners on the ground – physicians, nurses, and health care workers we’ve trained – have mobilized and are providing medical, nutrition and other services.
Our work in East Africa has never been more important – to learn more about our emergency response, please take a few minutes to watch this video.
Thank you -- your support has allowed us to respond to this massive crisis and save lives.
Vice President, Program Policy and Planning
International Medical Corps