An estimated 300 million people worldwide live in countries affected by armed conflict. When violence and political instability disrupt societies and displace populations, they usually destroy public health services, clean water supplies, sanitation and stable living conditions. As a result, death and disease skyrocket.
During these emergencies the International Rescue Committee strives to rapidly reduce illness and death rates to normal levels. When the conflict subsides, the IRC works with displaced individuals and communities to rebuild their health systems.
IRC health programmes assist approximately 13 million people in 25 countries, focusing on primary health care, reproductive health care, environmental health, child survival, blindness treatment and prevention, and assistance for victims of sexual violence.
The IRC works in various settings such as in refugee camps, in disaster-stricken areas and in host countries where refugees have resettled after a conflict.
IRC experts in primary care, environmental health, reproductive health, epidemiology, child survival, and emergency medicine ensure that IRC programmes use cutting edge public health tools and meet best-practice standards for humanitarian aid.
The IRC is also committed to contributing to the development of the science and practice of humanitarian assistance and has undertaken a number of research studies on public health, which have been published in various peer-reviewed journals.