Document Library

InterAction’s document library is a resource for and by the NGO community and our partners. It includes reports, press releases and advocacy materials. Search by document type, issue area and country to explore.

Mar 27, 2015
Senate overwhelmingly votes down proposed cuts to aid WASHINGTON – Yesterday the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly rejected a proposal by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) that would have dramatically cut the International Affairs Budget by $21 billion for each of the next two years. Sen. Rand's amendment (#940 to the Senate Budget Resolution) was defeated by a 96-4 margin. 
Mar 16, 2015
­­­­­Ongoing War Creates Invisible Mental Health Crisis for Syrian PeopleInternational Medical Corps Report Calls for Strengthening Sustainable Mental Health Services March 16, 2015 - LOS ANGELES/LONDON – As Syria’s civil war enters its fifth year today, the visible signs of human suffering leave little doubt the conflict has become the largest humanitarian crisis in generations. An estimated 200,000 are dead, about half of Syria’s 21 million people have been forced from their homes and the largest refugee population in recent history—over 3.9 million—have sought refuge in neighboring countries.Today, International Medical Corps, which has been working to help the Syrian people since the start of the crisis, released a report containing evidence of a less visible yet disturbing tragedy emerging from the conflict: as mental health and psychosocial needs continue to grow among the millions of Syrians exposed to the chaos of war and displacement, so too does the urgent need for skilled staff and accessible mental health services. The prevalence of emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression can double in a humanitarian crisis, and people with pre-existing mental health problems are especially vulnerable. The report found that among Syrians who utilized mental health services at International Medical Corps’ facilities across the region, 54 percent suffered from emotional disorders and 11 percent had psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia.  More than a quarter of the children receiving mental health services had developmental disorders.The report reveals weak national mental health services overburdened by the demands placed on them by the Syria crisis. Health facilities which previously provided integrated mental health services in Syria have themselves become casualties of war, with most either destroyed, damaged or not functioning.  The shortage of trained mental health care providers is viewed as critical, both in Syria and in the neighboring countries where refugees now reside. Strengthening and expanding these services is crucial for Syria’s longer term recovery because the need for treatment will last for years after the war ends.“We see horrific images from Syria broadcast almost every evening on the nightly news, but these images only tell part of the story,” said Rabih Torbay, International Medical Corps’ Senior Vice President of International Operations.  “What we cannot see is the impact this bloody war is having on the mental health of an entire nation.  It has created an invisible mental health crisis, the depths of which will take the entire international community to address.”  Noted Inka Weissbecker, International Medical Corps Mental Health and Psychosocial Advisor and co-author of the report: “The impact of unaddressed mental health issues can have far reaching consequences for entire families and communities. Those with mental illness often struggle to complete the daily tasks needed to meet basic needs, raise children or have supportive relationships with others.  This is more pronounced during humanitarian crises and even more so in the midst of armed conflict. This is why International Medical Corps is providing not only basic and emergency health care but also mental health services and psychosocial support to the children, women and men affected by the crisis in Syria.”To support the international community in meeting the mental health needs of Syrians inside Syria and refugees, International Medical Corps calls for:Scaling up accessible, sustainable and comprehensive mental health services, including strengthening and preparing mental health care systems in Syria and surrounding countries;Increasing mental health training for doctors, nurses and other general health care providers as well as augmenting the training psychologists and social workers, which will help increase the cadre of trained mental health human resources now and in the future; andInvolving affected Syrians in community outreach and in learning basic psychosocial support skills, which can strengthen community support and help establish links to formal mental health care services.To read the report and learn more about International Medical Corps’ ongoing efforts to help the people of Syria, visit www.internationalmedicalcorps.org/syria-crisis.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 that focus on training. This approach of helping people help themselves is critical to returning devastated populations to self-reliance. For more information visit:  www.InternationalMedicalCorps.org. Also see us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.Contact info:Los Angeles Lisa EllisDirector of Global Communications+1-310-826-7800lellis@InternationalMedicalCorps.org London Josh HarrisCommunications Manager+44 (0)20 7017 3161jharris@internationalmedicalcorps.org.uk   
Mar 16, 2015
International Medical Corps Emergency Response Team Arrives in Vanuatu March 16, 2015 – In the wake of Super Cyclone Pam, which ravaged Vanuatu on March 13 and 14, experts from International Medical Corps have arrived in the hard-hit capital city of Port Vila.  Rapid assessments of the situation are now underway, but early reports indicate much of the city was damaged by the storm.  Homes and buildings have been destroyed, food and clean water is limited in many locations, and health services are non-existent or limited.“We are working closely with the Government of Vanuatu to identify ways we can best help those who have been devastated by this powerful cyclone,” said Rabih Torbay, International Medical Corps’ Senior Vice President of International Operations. “We already have response personnel in Port Vila, and we are mobilizing relief supplies and additional staff, which will likely be needed given initial reports from the capital and outlying islands.”Logistics will be a significant challenge for this response effort, as Vanuatu is an archipelago comprised of more than 80 islands in the South Pacific Ocean about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to Australia. The effects of Cyclone Pam, including flooding, debris-strewn roads, and bridges washed out by the tidal surge, are hampering early relief efforts.  Further complicating the response, electricity is out in many places, and communication systems are down or are unreliable.International Medical Corps is working in support of the Government of Vanuatu and in coordination with the international humanitarian community to rapidly assess the situation in Port Vila and plans to assess additional locations in the days to come.  The organization has responded to every major natural disaster of the last 30 years including the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami and the 2013 Philippines typhoon.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 that focus on training. This approach of helping people help themselves is critical to returning devastated populations to self-reliance. For more information visit:  www.InternationalMedicalCorps.org. Also see us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.Los Angeles Lisa EllisDirector of Global Communications+1-310-826-7800lellis@InternationalMedicalCorps.org Washington, DCRebecca GustafsonSenior Advisor, Global Communications+1-202-828-5155rgustafson@InternationalMedicalCorps.org London Josh HarrisCommunications Manager+44 (0)20 7017 3161jharris@internationalmedicalcorps.org.uk 
Mar 09, 2015
Handicap International U.S.’ Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Jeffrey Meer as the next Executive Director of Handicap International U.S. With 27 years of experience working in the international humanitarian sector, Meer has held leadership roles at the U.S. Association for UNHCR, CHF International, and most recently, The Public Health Institute (PHI).