Every year we publish an Activity Report, giving up-to-date details of our programmes, a short description of each hospital, and data regarding patients' treatment
EMERGENCY’s journey began just over 25 years ago. We wanted to do something right and necessary: to build hospitals and treat the countless victims of today’s wars, nine out of 10 of them civilians, and to do it well and free of charge.Rossella Miccio, President of EMERGENCY
We want to keep being builders of peace
Introduction by Rossella Miccio, President of EMERGENCY, in the 2019 Report
EMERGENCY’s journey began just over 25 years ago. We wanted to do something right and necessary: to build hospitals and treat the countless victims of today’s wars.
This journey has taken us far and wide,from Rwanda to Iraq, Cambodia to Afghanistan, Sierra Leone to Sudan, to Italy, stopping off in Algeria, Palestine, Eritrea, Serbia and many other countries along the way. What was lacking in all of them was the fundamental right of every human being to medical treatment.
Over time we’ve picked up many fellow travellers along the way, all of whom have played their part. Every single person who has stood by us and helped us in whatever way they could, as staff, volunteers or supporters, has left their mark.
It has been a journey full of challenges and setbacks, but also rich in discoveries and lessons. We often find ourselves swimming against the tide, in a world that chooses the logic of war and division over the opportunity to work together towards global coexistence, based on shared rights and values.
What we are seeing today is a politics of isolation and fear. It prompts us to hold on stubbornly to our privileges, to pour hatred on anything that looks different, to turn our backs on the universal principle that a life in danger needs saving, to shut ourselves away in ever more cramped fortresses and put up walls around ourselves.
But at EMERGENCY we are convinced that this drift isn’t inevitable. Where they put up barriers to divide, shut out and lock out, we put up hospital walls to welcome, unite and protect. Our latest hospital was set to open its doors in spring 2020 in Uganda, on the banks of Lake Victoria. It will be a Centre of Excellence in Paediatric Surgery, treating children from all over Africa. But we’ve had to put that project on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic that’s struck the world and forced us to rethink all our activities.
And we couldn’t stand idly by when Italy, where EMERGENCY was founded, was so badly affected, so we did the only thing we know how to do: we rolled up our sleeves and started new projects. We delivered food to vulnerable people stuck at home, monitored shelters for migrants and people with no home to go to, and ran the intensive care ward at a hospital for sufferers of Covid-19.
There is still so much to do and we are ready to put our passion and skill into it: we want to keep being builders of peace, and to keep believing that a better world is not just necessary but possible.