Emergency Response

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Türkiye, Syria earthquake; death toll expected to rise

Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Rateb al-Nabulsi speaks on the devastating aftermath of the 7.8 magnitude that slammed Türkiye and Syria and just how crucial humanitarian aid is at this time, especially for the often-forgotten Syrian refugees in Ghaziantep

Both Syria and Türkiye have declared a state of emergency after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked the two countries early Monday morning.

At least 11,500 people are dead, more than 50,000 people are injured, and at least 11,000 buildings were destroyed. The death toll is expected to rise sharply as rescue workers continue to search for survivors in the rubble.


This comes at the worst possible time as it is the middle of winter in Syria and Türkiye. Hundreds of thousands of people will now be struggling to survive without access to food, medical care, or protection from freezing temperatures.

UMR is responding in the form of food baskets, winter care kits, emergency health kits for households, and Interagency Emergency Health Kits for hospitals and medical clinics.

To reiterate, in a disaster of this proportion, any donation will make a difference in the lives of individuals who lost everything.

7.8 Magnitude Earthquake Slams Turkey and Syria (UMR’s Emergency Response)

UMR CEO and President Dr. Abed Ayoub spoke about the devastating earthquake, “UMR currently is working with international communities teams on the ground, which are also providing emergency aid, as we look to see what the other major needs are. Our resources are heading to the areas most heavily affected by the earthquake yesterday, where huge numbers of houses, markets, and hospitals have been destroyed and the food supply is dwindling. This means international aid is more important now than ever.”

The main needs include access to clean water, food, and shelter, particularly for women, children, and other vulnerable communities. UMR is responding in the form of emergency aid including food baskets, essential winter items, shelter, water and sanitation, and other core relief items.

Dr.Ayoub adds, “At the moment, aid agencies are obviously operating in an even more challenging environment.” UMR has been working in responding to emergencies around the globe for many years, helping communities prepare for disasters, and providing emergency relief and recovery when disaster strikes. UMR has ongoing programs across the region and has access to areas including the areas affected by the earthquake. UMR has activated its emergency response protocol and has assessment and response teams on the ground assisting in coordination with partner organizations and local government units.

Syrian Refugee Medical Missions (Jordan)

Working with our field office in Jordan we have sent a number of medical shipments to assist Syrian refugees. As well as sending medicine to tackle chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, we supply essential medical supplies including syringes, aluminum canes, crutches, hip arthroscopy kits, oxygen masks and surgical packs.

In coordination with our partners, UMR also conducts cataract surgeries in Jordan. Each mission involves highly qualified and experienced doctors from the US who worked with their counterparts at Shami Eye Center, Amman and conduct surgeries.The Save Syria Medical Mission, implemented in conjunction with IMANA, is an ongoing project that brings volunteer doctors to provide low-cost primary and acute care to refugees of all nationalities that reside in Jordan.Services are provided in the Zarqa and Mafraq governates of Jordan. In 2018, UMR and IMANA provided health consultancies and primary health services to 6,500 patients primarily from Syrian and Palestinian refugee backgrounds.

East Africa Emergency Appeal

In Somalia, poverty, armed conflict, political instability and natural disasters continue to drive humanitarian needs. Diminishing water sources caused livestock to perish and crops to wither and die, further deteriorating cases of malnutrition, dehydration and starvation. The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance reached 5 million, which is more than 40% of the entire population. Over 1.1 million people are internally displaced, and Somalia remains one of the poorest and most food-deprived nations in the world.

UMR launched a project to provide immediate assistance to drought-affected IDPs and host communities in and around Mogadishu and Luug District, Gedu region. The scheme enabled people to access food as they waited for additional humanitarian interventions. The project helped feed 3,000 beneficiaries. UMR used World Food Program’s (WFP) support to improve food security through the SCOPE approach. This project targeted the most vulnerable IDPs passing through or staying in the region. It also registered beneficiaries from the IDP camp as well vulnerable households. The targeted beneficiaries received family/household rations equivalent to the ones delivered by WFP and recommended by the Somalia Food Security Cluster. The quota included 25kgs of rice, 25kgs of sugar, 5 liters of cooking oil, 2kgs of tea leaves and 5kgs of powdered milk.

Gaza Emergency Appeal

Update: December 19, 2019

Update: November 15, 2019

Renewed fighting in the Gaza strip has left 34 Palestinians dead and over 111 reported injured, many of whom are women and children (1). As the emergency situation in Gaza continues unfolds, UMR is monitoring the developments and responding to the crisis.

Since fighting began on November 12, the newly enacted ceasefire has been strained as attacks and airstrikes continue. In response, UMR has sent emergency food packs and medical kits at the request of the Palestine Ministry of Health (MoH) in an effort to ease the strain on the humanitarian crisis.

[1] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-50430783


Update: October 13, 2019


Upon the urgent request of the Palestine Ministry of Health, UMR will be sending 5 Interagency Emergency Health Kits (IEHK) to Gaza. These units consist of two different sets of medicines and medical devices: a Basic Unit and a Supplementary Unit. Each of these units contains sufficient materials to temporary equip medical facilities for 10,000 people for 3 months. Each kit has an expiration date of 2 years. All units are packed and shipped in sturdy boxes so upon arrival in Palestine, the contents arrive in perfect condition and are ready to use.

The complete IEHK can help equip several field hospitals or doctors’ posts with medicines, medical disposables and medical equipment. This ensures that medical relief is readily available in the first months after a major disaster.

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