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University charity to lead global disaster response

06 Jan 2016

UK-Med, the medical emergency response charity based at the University, has become the UK’s deployment lead to global humanitarian crises, with an £8m grant from government

Typhoon Haiphan - distribution of aid (credit: UK-Med)

Funding for the new initiative is being provided by The Department for International Development to carry out support, education and training for health care workers on the UK International Emergency Trauma Register and the new UK International Emergency Medical Register.

The registers, the first of which was set up by UK-Med in 2011, have registered and trained hundreds of volunteers, ensuring there is the right mix of skills, training and experience to respond to specific international disasters.

In recent years clinicians have been deployed to Sierra Leone to help in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus, to the Philippines post Typhoon Haiyan, to the Gaza conflict and to Haiti and Nepal in response to earthquakes.

UK-Med is staffed by academics from The University of Manchester’s Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI) which is a leading global centre for the study of humanitarianism and conflict response, global health, international disaster management and peacebuilding.

Professor Tony Redmond OBE, Deputy Director of HCRI and Head of UK-Med, said: “UK-Med is unique as a humanitarian NGO in its relationship with HCRI and the University which provide academic oversight and direction to the training and deployment of teams to the field.

“In this country we are in the privileged position of being able to respond to emergencies and I believe it is our duty to help people in distress if asked and we have the skills to do so.”

Department for International Development Minister Desmond Swayne said: “The UK is a world leader in providing humanitarian assistance and strengthening our support for UK-Med shows our commitment to remaining at the forefront of responding to emergencies overseas.

“UK-Med has rapidly deployed life-saving medical teams of the highest quality in response to the Ebola outbreak and in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. The skills of these British volunteers have helped to save many lives and this new support will ensure they continue to make a difference for people in need.”