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2006: A Year in Review

  • December 27, 2006

Following a year of unprecedented natural disasters that attracted widespread media attention around the world and an outpouring of charitable contributions, AmeriCares efforts around the world in 2006 went beyond relief and expanded into recovery.

This year, AmeriCares provided ongoing humanitarian aid to hundreds of thousands of people across the globe that lacked access to primary health care and suffered from preventable diseases including malnutrition and basic hygiene related infections.  AmeriCares also responded to natural and man-made disasters that devastated countries around the world, leaving many homeless and displaced, lacking the basic needs to survive.

These three children are among more than 2,500 people who remain homeless in Guatemala. Nearly fourteen months ago, Hurricane Stan devastated most of Central America, leaving hundreds dead and thousands without shelter. AmeriCares and a local organization are partnering on a six-month project to rehabilitate the health sector in the district of Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala.  In order to help ease the suffering of the displaced families, the project provides direct assistance to those living in shelters, offering primary and mental health care services, food distribution and ensuring clean, safe drinking water.

A group of refugees seek shelter as the situation in the Darfur goes from bad to worse.  Hundreds of thousands have been killed and millions continue to flee their homes and seek refuge.  Earlier this year, despite crippled security, escalating violence and prohibitive flight restrictions, AmeriCares delivered an airlift of more than 26,000 pounds of life-saving medical treatments to combat respiratory and intestinal infections, malaria and other threatening infections affecting those displaced by the violence in Darfur. 

On May 27, 2006 a 6.2 earthquake rocked Central Java, Indonesia, leaving more than 6,700 dead and nearly one million homeless.  AmeriCares provided emergency relief including food, water, tarps, lanterns and other critically needed supplies to thousands of survivors. 

Renewed civil strife in Sri Lanka forced more than 200,000 people to flee their homes and villages in search of safe ground, AmeriCares supported these displaced people in their time of need.  AmeriCares prepared more than 3,100 family aid kits that included hygiene products, bed sheets, a mat, water, tea and food.  These kits provided immediate relief to more than 15,000 people displaced by the conflict.

Hundreds of volunteers helped restore joy and laughter to neighborhoods that were decimated by Hurricane Katrina. This year, AmeriCares worked with local partners to complete three playground builds in New Orleans and Mississippi, returning the excitement of childhood back to hundreds of children.

Two years after the devastating tsunami of December 2004, AmeriCares continues to bring help and hope to hundreds of thousands of people affected by the catastrophe. This past June, AmeriCares supported the opening of The Lampulo Wholesale Market in Indonesia, which was destroyed by the tsunami. The market provides a central meeting place for approximately 1,000 local fishermen, as well as traders and suppliers of fishing industry-related products, foods and basic household necessities. 

More than 60% of the primary care facilities were destroyed following the 7.6 magnitude earthquake that rocked Pakistan in 2005. On December 9, 2006, the first AmeriCares-supported rural health center was inaugurated in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.  This was the first in a network of 20 health care facilities being completed. Each rural health center serves a population of between 50,000 to 100,000 people; in total, the 20 hospitals will reach at least 1,000,000 people.