INTERSOS is a non-profit humanitarian aid organisation that works to bring assistance to people in danger, victims of natural disasters and armed conflicts. Established in 1992 with support from the Italian Federation of Trade Unions, its actions are based on the values of solidarity, justice, human dignity, equal rights and opportunities for all people and respect for diversity and coexistence, paying particular attention to the most vulnerable and the unprotected.
INTERSOS identifies with the core values of CONCORD, the European Confederation of NGOs; it adheres to international codes of conduct for humanitarian organisations and the values and principles expressed within those codes.
INTERSOS is recognised by the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the European Commission and the principal UN agencies; it is privileged to hold an advisory status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
INTERSOS is an independent association which, through its own humanitarian operators, intervenes to effectively answer the needs of people in serious crises situations, mainly in the world’s poorest regions, who are suffering, deprived of rights, dignity and essentials goods. It maintains a flexible operating structure. The head office in Italy coordinates, supports and monitors the planned activities in the countries of intervention carried out by decentralised offices.
The statutory bodies that guide, decide and monitor the interventions, activities, and finances of INTERSOS, are: the Members Assembly, the Council, the Society for Auditing and Certification of Accounts.
• To give an immediate response in humanitarian crises by bringing emergency relief to the victims of armed conflict, drought, famine, the presence of landmines or unexploded devices, and other disaster situations.
• At the same time as providing primary emergency relief, to also begin working to promote a return to normal living conditions, the resumption of dialogue and the strengthening of peace, reconstruction and growth.
• To stimulate, encourage and involve Italian society in helping to develop and spread the existing culture of solidarity and international justice.
HUMANITARIAN AID WORKERS
They are the life force of the organisation. They are doctors, nurses, architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, logisticians, administrative staff, landmine clearance experts, teachers, social workers… They bring water, food and essential emergency items to the victims of natural disasters and war; they prepare and manage refugee camps; they build houses, schools, treatment clinics and hospitals; they clear areas of landmines and unexploded devices; they develop training courses; they restart processes of reconciliation, peacemaking and economic recovery, fostering the growth of civil society. By combining their professional abilities with the spirit of solidarity, they go to communities hit by catastrophe and contribute to the realisation of emergency relief and reconstruction interventions.
WHERE WE OPERATE
The countries where INTERSOS has operated and continues to operate (in bold) are:
• AFRICA: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Tchad, Democratic Republic of The Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan
• CENTRAL AMERICA: El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Haiti
• ASIA AND THE MIDDLE EAST: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Syria, Sri Lanka, Yemen
• EUROPE: Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chechnya (Russian Federation), Kosovo, Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia.
The principal intervention sectors are:
• Providing emergency relief to civilian populations through the distribution of food and basic needs items, water, health, protection and the safeguarding of human rights, with particular attention paid to more vulnerable groups.
• Assisting refugees and internally displaced persons: setting up and running refugee camps and reception centres.
• Supporting the return of refugees and displaced persons. Assisting in the reconstruction of housing and community services, the restarting of economic activities and the democratic process. Fostering the growth of local potential and training courses.
• The functional rehabilitation of social structures and public services: hospitals, treatment centres, schools, wells and aqueducts, housing.
• Humanitarian mine clearance activities: the clearance of lands contaminated with mines, cluster bombs and other unexploded devices; Mine Risk Education concerning the dangers posed by landmines and other unexploded devices.
• Promoting the resumption of dialogue, living together in peace and reconciliation.
Given their scope, humanitarian interventions usually require enormous financial resources, which only governments and multilateral international organisations are capable of guaranteeing in a brief period of time.Nonetheless, it is a constant worry for INTERSOS to maintain full independence and autonomy in their operational and strategic choices. Therefore INTERSOS is careful to diversify the sources of funding used for the realisation of humanitarian interventions.
We only choose international donors, those who respect the neutrality and autonomy of INTERSOS.
Part of INTERSOS’s funding comes from its own members and from donations made by individuals, associations, social organisations, solidarity groups and businesses. Most of its funding comes from various public bodies: the European Union, the Italian Government and other governments of industrialised countries, FAO, OCHA, UNDP, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNMAS, UNOPS, WFP, WHO, Italian Regions, Provinces and City Councils.
The Italian Federation of Trade Unions has been a constant supporter of INTERSOS. The budget, which amounts to approximately 15 million Euros a year, is certified by a leading public auditing firm.
MEANS OF COMMUNICATIONS
INTERSOS uses various means of communication to provide information about its operations and for the exchange of ideas and assessments. They are:
Online newsletters and Facebook/Twitter page
Books and special publications
Paper Newsletters to supporters
NETWORKS OF EXCHANGE AND COOPERATION
INTERSOS is part of:
– VOICE Voluntary Organisations in Cooperation in Emergencies. It is a network representing83 European non governmental organisations (NGOs) active in humanitarian aid worldwide.
– LINK 2007 A network of 11 important Italian NGOs that promotes lobbying and advocacy initiatives. Together they undertake campaigns for the purpose of improving and extending operational opportunities, and the quality and importance of development cooperation; strengthening the knowledge, values and specific expertise of the NGOs involved.
– AGIRE (Italian Emergency Response Agency) is a coordination of twelve of the most influential and accredited Italian non-governmental organisations which have chosen to unite their efforts to intervene in a timely manner on serious humanitarian emergencies. It is a permanent forum that groups together Italian non-profit organisations dedicated to social action.
– CONCORD European NGO Confederation for relief and development (represented by the Italian NGOs).
Bank account: INTERSOS Banca Etica No. 555000 IBAN: IT 07 U 05018 03200 000000 555000
Post Office current account: INTERSOS No. 87702007
Online credit card donations:www.intersos.org/bancasella.htm
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