(Portland, OR) JUNE 18, 2020Medical Teams International, a global disaster response and humanitarian agency, is joining voices around the world in marking World Refugee Day this Saturday, June 20. Traditionally a day to acknowledge the strength and perseverance of 79.5 million refugees and displaced people worldwide, this year, the threat of COVID-19 has increased the urgent need for compassionate action worldwide.

Every day, violence and insecurity force children, families, and individuals to flee their homes in search of safety and a better life. COVID-19 is particularly dangerous for people on the move and living in refugee camps and informal settlements, given crowded living conditions, inadequate sanitation facilities and access to health care facilities, and oftentimes poor underlying health. For example, in Kutupalong, Bangladesh where Medical Teams is serving in the world’s largest refugee camp, social distancing and regular hand washing is impossible.

In the high-risk environments for refugees where Medical Teams is working, the organization is providing COVID-19 prevention and treatment services, as well as personal protective equipment. This World Refugee Day, Medical Teams is calling for increased awareness, empathy, and action from the public to support these urgently needed interventions.

“We marvel at the courage and resilience of refugees every day. Addressing their needs and relieving their suffering through access to basic health services is core to our mission,” said Martha Newsome, President and CEO of Medical Teams International. “Our work to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in refugee camps and settlements – and to help treat those impacted – will continue as long as this threat remains.”

One of the most important ways to help is to give. Donations to Medical Teams’ COVID-19 global response help train medical staff and community health workers (many of whom are refugees themselves) so that they have the knowledge and tools to fight the spread of COVID-19, such as in Uganda, Tanzania, and Lebanon. In some places, a gift will fund emergency health clinics and equip medical professionals with protective gear and other life-saving supplies to meet the growing threat – such as the COVID-19 isolation and treatment center Medical Teams is operating in Kutupalong, Bangladesh.

For more information and to make a gift to help protect and save lives, visit www.medicalteams.org


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. Because every person—no matter where they are or how desperate their situation—matters. Learn more at medicalteams.org and on social media using @medicalteams. For more information and donations for Medical Teams’ work on COVID-19, please visit  https://www.medicalteams.org/how-we-heal/natural-disasters/covid-19-response/