Response International (RI) is a UK registered charity established in 1993 to support victims of violent conflict. Over the last decade successful multi-sector programs were implemented in Angola, Bosnia, Chechnya, Kosovo, Lebanon and Pakistan. The objective of these programs is to design and implement projects that offer immediate relief to victims of conflict and provide sustainable conditions to enable longer term development. RI’s medical staff has been working in war zones around the world. The teams of British, US and Irish nurses, doctors, surgeons and landmine specialists extend emergency support services and remain to implement recovery and reconstruction programs. RI prides itself on utilizing as many local skills as possible, thereby reducing reliance on international staff to the benefit of the local teams.
RI’s projects have included landmine clearance and landmine awareness, victim rehabilitation, trauma surgery, assisting the return and re-integration of war refugees, health care in emergencies, and psychological/social support as part of torture rehabilitation and community based healthcare. More recently, RI has widened its sphere of activities by becoming involved in a childcare project in Sri Lanka in response to the desperate needs of those who suffered from the December 2004 Tsunami across Asia. RI was the first organization to provide surgical teams to live and work in Sarajevo early in the siege. It is one of the few organizations to provide medical assistance within the borders of Chechnya. It, also, provides medical teams and emergency services support to Lebanon becoming the only international organization with a long-term presence in the south of the country.
Links to the health workforce crisis
A major strength of RI lies in its commitment to the development of sustainable, community-based healthcare resources. Structured, in-service training programs for teams of psycho-social workers supporting refugee populations in Tuzla, Bosnia, and for community nurses working in both Tuzla and south Lebanon, have greatly enhanced local capacity, and should facilitate the anticipated transition to autonomous, self-sustaining indigenous non-governmental organization status or the recovery and enhancement of national health service provision.
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