Local nonprofit providing aid, helping refugees in Syria

Medical teams international helping refugees

TIGARD, Ore. -- Many in the Portland area are watching the events in Syria closely. Medical Teams International is a refugee aid group located in Tigard. The U.S. bombing in Syria as a response to what is believed to be the use of Sarin gas by President Bashar al-Assad on his own people did not surprise aid workers.

Joe DiCarlo is a global ambassador for Medical Teams International.

“I think its fair to say that the killing needed to stop of innocent women and children. Whether this is the solution, we don’t know, but the most important thing is that it becomes a political situation and to do that there needs to be more security.”

In the past year, Medical Teams International has provided aid to nearly 3 million people in 27 countries around the world.

Syria is its own challenge. The political climate has created a mass movement of people. There are 6.3 million people displaced, out of their homes and living in a humanitarian crisis. Nearly 5 million Syrians have sought refuge in other countries. Many women and children have fled to Lebanon.

DiCarlo says the group's focus remains on aid.

“Whether this is the right solution and what will follow after that, that’s for the politicians to sort out. Our main concern at Medical Teams is to ensure the people who need care and don’t have access to health care, get it. And get the supplies and the medicines that they need.”

Medical Teams International provides medical and dental care as well as humanitarian aid and development programs to people in need. As more teams prepare to help, they anticipate the need to grow with the instability.

“It hasn’t surprised me that there was a response to the gassing of innocent women and children. Because something needed to be done.This is not the first time this has happened and so it needed to be addressed," DiCarlo said.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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