Emergency was established in 1994 in Milan, Italy to come to the aid of civilian victims of war, and began working in Afghanistan in 1999. Emergency also runs clinics in Cambodia, northern Iraq and Sierra Leone, and has worked in danger zones such as Rwanda when other aid agencies wouldn't take the risk.

As an independent and neutral aid organization, Emergency provides aid to all those in need, in adherence to international human rights guidelines. From the very beginning Emergency focused its humanitarian activities on treatment and rehabilitation of victims of antipersonnel landmines. The international community is now moving towards a global ban of these indiscriminate and persistent weapons. An essential component of Emergency's work is to train national personnel in clinical management and the rehabilitation of landmine and war injuries thereby ensuring the sustainability of these programs.

Emergency began its humanitarian project in Afghanistan with the construction of a Surgical Center for War Victims at Anabah in the Panjshir Valley. A network of six First Aid Posts, located near the front-line or in mine-infested areas, work together with the center. In April of 2001, Emergency opened a hospital in Kabul with two operating rooms and 110 beds. "Afghanistan Year 1380" tells the story of the Emergency staff returning to Kabul to re-open the hospital during the worst of the fighting between Taliban and Northern Alliance soldiers in Kabul in the fall of 2001.

Emergency chief surgeon Dr. Gino Strada was among seven philanthropy pioneers -- and the only non-American -- honored in Time magazine's recent listing of "Tomorrow's Most Influential Individuals." (Time, November 5, 2001).

Find out more about Emergency and their programs in other countries at their website at www.emergency.it. Any questions can be directed to ketty[at]emergency.it.

To learn more about Emergency's hospitals in Anabah and Kabul, check out our interactive map.