by Rick Santos, President and CEO, IMA World Health
In August 2016, a wave of violence swept through IMA World Health’s project regions in the Democratic Republic of Congo. More than 3 million people were affected, and several health centers we support shut down due to mass population displacement. Yet we met or even exceeded annual targets for several important health services. Thanks to our longstanding relationships with local chiefs, we even negotiated the passage of medicines for resupplying health zones that were cut off from receiving supplies for many months.
When famine struck in South Sudan, IMA’s longstanding relationships with local partners helped to ensure rapid access to emergency care for those facing imminent starvation. Our presence in the world’s youngest country has survived this famine, the ravages of war and extreme drought since 2009.
IMA World Health works in some of the world’s most fragile areas, where stability can be fleeting and there are no guarantees. A devastating hurricane in Haiti or violence in eastern DRC could have forced us to pack up and leave.
We didn’t. Our projects overcome because the people overcome. Person by person and community by community, together we rebuild, we reconvene, we rediscover hope again and again. We are able to continue operating in these fragile places because we invest in each community we serve. We are committed to change that lasts. This is resilience, and I believe IMA’s best work is in empowering individuals and communities with skills and tools to turn this ineffable quality into real-world solutions for overcoming their health challenges.
On these pages, we present some of the highlights of IMA’s work the past year. As you read, I encourage you to look beyond the numbers to see how IMA is building resilience to create lasting impact in the communities we serve. Please know I am deeply grateful for how you, our donors and partners, share in our vision and make this work possible.