History and key dates
35 years of humanitarian action
1980: our first mission in Afghanistan, where we are still working 35 years later. From the invasion of Soviet troops to their withdrawal, from civil war to the Taliban regime, from American intervention to the transitional government, from emergency intervention to reconstruction, with and for the Afghan people.
Romania: for ten years, between 1989 and 2000, we implemented numerous projects to assist the large numbers of orphans in state institutions.
Iraq: In 1992 we sent aid convoys when one million Kurdish refugees fled Saddam Hussein’s troops. Again in 2003 and 2004, we repaired the water treatment plants south of Baghdad.
Africa Great Lakes region: Rwanda (May 1994 - 2000) - in response to the horrors of the genocide and the aftermath of the conflict. Then, in neighbouring Burundi (1996 - 2010) and in the troubled country of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kivu, Ituri, Katanga) since August 2000, where we remain very active.
The Balkans: right at the start of the conflict in Bosnia (summer 1992 - 2000); then in Kosovo (summer 1998 - 2001), in Macedonia and Albania to assist 800,000 Kosovo refugees, and finally in Serbia (Krajina, Slovenia).
West Africa: in the Ivory Coast when conflict broke out in 2003, and in neighbouring Liberia (2004 - 2012).
Sudan, Darfur: February 2004 - 2009. This was a difficult mission, providing aid to people forced to flee their villages and to the victims of multiple acts of violence.
Natural disasters: the tsunami of December 26th, 2004 in Sri Lanka and Indonesia, severe drought in Niger (August 2005), hurricane Jeanne in Haiti (September 2004), and the earthquake which devastated the Kashmir region of Pakistan on October 8, 2005.
During the summer of 2006, a temporary period of emergency in Lebanon; then in 2007, new humanitarian missions in northern Kenya, in South Sudan, in Thailand to assist Burmese refugees, in the Central African Republic (CAR), in Somalia, a stateless society dragged down by years of conflict, and finally in Bangladesh, devastated by a cyclone in November 2007.
Chad: Early 2008, assisting displaced persons and refugees fleeing regional violence; then in Myanmar (Burma), devastated by Cyclone Nargis in May 2008.
Zimbabwe: June 2009 - 2011, bringing emergency aid to the people of this crisis-ridden country; and Pakistan, summer 2009, assisting displaced persons fleeing the fighting between the Pakistani army and insurgents.
Haiti: January 2010, providing disaster relief to victims of this powerful earthquake which struck one of the poorest countries in the world. Pakistan: August 2010, to provide relief to disaster victims following the worst flooding in the history of the country.
2011: In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, sending an exploratory mission to Libya to assist Egyptian refugees.
In 2012, following the Malian political crisis and the Sahelien food crisis, three missions were opened: Mauritania in February, Mali in April, and Niger in July. In November 2012, following a year of conflict, a mission in Syria was launched.
Early 2013 saw a new mission in Lebanon to assist Syrian refugees. In November 2013 typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines, prompting an emergency mission to assist those affected.
In July 2014, we opened our first mission in Cameroon, delivering emergency relief to thousands of people fleeing the bloody and brutal conflict in the neighbouring CAR.
And in late 2014, in response to the Ebola epidemic affecting West Africa, we began working in a treatment centre in Moyamba, Sierra Leone, in partnership with the medical NGO Médicos del Mundo.
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