A New Year’s Greeting from Humanitarian Response Program Manager Giacomo


“We have just finished an intense year. I began 2015 as a logistician in Lashkar-gah, in southern Afghanistan. Along with all my colleagues, I spent that New Year’s Eve handling a mass casualty, the infamous wedding massacre in Sangin. There were only women and children there, about fifty of them. We worked all night, almost until dawn; then after a few hours of sleep we were back in the hospital, tired and truly tested but also gratified and proud of ourselves.

In the months after that, things did not go much better for the Afghan people: it was another cruel and violent year in Afghanistan. Some of my colleagues are still there to carry on with what we started more than 15 years ago. They continue working hard and sleeping very little, because war has no concept of time.

Now I’m not there anymore, because last April I came to Iraq as Program Manager. Here I came across a new reality… but it was still war, which has forced millions of people here from their homes. From Syria and Iraq itself, hundreds of thousands of families have left their homes to look for a place where they can be safe, away from gunfire or explosions. In Iraq, EMERGENCY helps these people by providing them with medical care in refugee camps. In 2015 we treated 120,000 people in need of help, at our clinics, with attention and care.

I have ended 2015 here in Iraq and I will be staying on for 2016.

I feel gratified and proud of what I do as part of EMERGENCY. Over the past four years I have met some wonderful friends and colleagues, professionals and people of great depth. I have worked with them and shared both good and bad days. I want to wish all of them a happy 2016, as well as our families and our friends and especially all of you and all the people who support us, thus allowing us to continue to do our work: providing treatment to those who need it.

Happy New Year and thank you for everything!”

– Giacomo, EMERGENCY NGO Humanitarian Response Program Manager in Iraq

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