(PORTLAND, OR) February 14, 2023 – Medical Teams International is grateful to the U.S. Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) for its award of $2 million USD, currently supporting Medical Teams’ comprehensive, timely medical care for refugees, internally displaced people, and host communities in northern Ethiopia. This award supports a consortium of non-governmental organizations led by Danish Refugee Council in Ethiopia for one year, including Medical Teams.

The conflict in northern Ethiopia began in November 2020 and has since created a full-scale humanitarian emergency. Many health clinics across the region have been damaged, destroyed, and looted. Conflict and violence displaced more than 5 million people in 2021, and there has been a large influx of Eritrean refugees into the Amhara region of Ethiopia over the past two years. Compounding the acute health issues facing these populations is the current global food crisis in the Horn of Africa, caused by one of the worst droughts in recent decades and rising food prices.

Medical Teams began providing life-saving medical support in Ethiopia in April 2021 and is currently serving a catchment population of 465,752 refugees, internally displaced people, and host communities in the regions of Amhara, Tigray, and Afar. In November of 2022 a ceasefire was declared between Tigray regional forces and federal forces, but health needs remain immense in the war-torn area.

This PRM funding enables Medical Teams to provide programming to 56,366 direct beneficiaries (including refugees, internally displaced people, and host community members), focusing on three key objectives:

  1. Medical Teams is strengthening the protective environment, resilience, health and well-being of refugees and conflict-affected communities through community-based support and strengthening of local actors and service providers. This is done through capacity-building/awareness of acute malnutrition, screening, and referrals as well as strengthening primary health facilities.
  2. Medical Teams is reducing the vulnerability of refugees and conflict-affected individuals by improving access to sexual and reproductive health, protection information, and assistance and psychosocial support. Medical Teams is increasing access to reproductive and maternal health care and clinical response to gender-based violence.
  3. Medical Teams is enhancing the wellbeing, resilience, care and support of at-risk children through holistic support to children and caregivers by expanding the treatment and prevention of acute malnutrition and micronutrition deficiencies.

“Our work in Ethiopia is providing essential, life-saving care to displaced Ethiopians and Eritreans, as well as the communities hosting them,” said Martha Holley Newsome, President and CEO of Medical Teams International. “This region has been ravaged by war and violence, and the resulting needs are widespread. The PRM grant is allowing us to continue to meet acute and preventative health needs, ensuring that support and care are available where needed most.”

 About Medical Teams International

Founded in 1979, Medical Teams International provides life-saving medical care for people in crisis, such as survivors of natural disasters and refugees. We care for the whole person— physical, emotional, social and spiritual. Daring to love like Jesus, we serve all people—regardless of religion, nationality, sex or race. Learn more at medicalteams.org and on social media using @medicalteams.

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