Children escape conflict in the northern region of Ethiopia via bus. Photo by Joost Bastmeijer.

(Portland, OR) June 15, 2021 – Medical Teams International, a Pacific Northwest-based global humanitarian health organization, is joining voices across the globe to mark World Refugee Day this Sunday, June 20. According to the UHCHR, the UN Refugee agency, there are approximately 79.5 million forcibly displaced people worldwide. Among these are nearly 26 million refugees, about half of whom are under the age of 18. 

Around the world each day, violence and insecurity force children, families, and individuals to flee their homes in search of safety and a better life. This year, Medical Teams began its response to the crisis in the northern region of Ethiopia which has displaced roughly two million people. Over 63,000 people have fled into neighboring Sudan, where Medical Teams is also working. Inside refugee camps, medical care is a primary concern and access is limited due to shortages of medical supplies and funding. With inadequate water and poor sanitation, there is a high risk of exposure to communicable diseases. Malnutrition is an acute concern, as food is in short supply. 

“Every day, Medical Teams staff encounter and work alongside refugees and people forcibly displaced from their homes,” said Martha Newsome, President and CEO of Medical Teams International. “They are resourceful, resilient, and courageous in the face of extremely difficult conditions. They risk their lives to protect the health of their families and one another. It is our privilege to provide access to life-saving medical care in Ethiopia and around the world.”  

To learn more, visit 

To help save and protect lives in Ethiopia, visit 


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 and on social media using @medicalteams.