Reponding to Emergencies

When emergencies strike, Merlin’s medical experts are there, doing whatever it takes to save lives. All around the world, natural disasters, conflict and disease threaten people’s livelihoods and destroy their communities, with consequences that last long after the TV cameras have moved on.

Since 1993, Merlin has worked in over 40 countries and responded to some of the most serious humanitarian emergencies of recent history.

Here are just a few:
1994: Afghanistan
In a country suffering from chronic instability and conflict, Merlin is providing essential health care to over 800,000 people, training midwives and sending mobile clinics to remote mountainous villages.

1997: South Sudan
Merlin has been delivering health care in South Sudan since 1997, to improve the health of vulnerable people who have suffered for decades from war, famine and disease.
2003: Iraq
Merlin was one of the first international NGOs to enter Iraq after the fall of Baghdad. We delivered essential medical equipment and drugs to support 60,000 people and carried out water and sanitation activities, which continue to benefit a quarter of a million people.
2004/5: Indonesia
Indonesia suffered the greatest devastation in the Asian tsunami, with the province of Aceh on the island of Sumatra being the worst hit. Merlin worked in four districts of Aceh province to respond to the initial emergency, and then focused on rebuilding and renovating health facilities, and improving water supply systems and sanitation facilities.
2008: Myanmar (Burma)
When a massive cyclone struck Myanmar’s Ayyarwaddy Delta, Merlin’s staff were on the ground within hours. 350,000 people have been helped by Merlin and over 84,000 have been treated by Merlin medical staff.
2009: The Philippines
Following Typhoon Ketsana - the most devastating typhoon to hit Manila in recent history - Merlin’s teams worked tirelessly to rebuild the health system. We trained 179 volunteer health workers and staff, distributed hygiene kits, and rehabilitated health facilities, repairing damage from the typhoon and strengthening facilities against further typhoons and flooding.

2008: Haiti
When a powerful earthquake struck Haiti, Merlin launched an emergency response within 48 hours and mobilised a specialised surgical and medical team. We also provided supplies and equipment as well as training and supervising local health workers to help rebuild the capacity of Haiti’s health system.
2010: Pakistan
When the worst floods in 80 years devastated areas of Pakistan our 600 medical experts set to work – treating over 55,000 people, running mobile clinics and health centres and providing enough clean water for 970,000 people.
But once the emergency is over, Merlin stays. Merlin’s long-term work is vital, not just because it is needed to tackle huge, enduring problems like childhood diseases, but because it helps us respond to emergencies more quickly and more effectively. Very often when a natural disaster or earthquake strikes a particular country, we can act immediately because we are already there, on the frontline.