AMI Foundation Description
AMI – Fundação Assistência Médica Internacional (International Medical Assistance Foundation) is a private, independent, apolitical and non-profit Portuguese Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). Since its foundation on the 5th December 1984, AMI has affirmed itself as a global humanitarian organization whose aims are to intervene in crisis and emergency situations and to fight underdevelopment, hunger, poverty, social exclusion and the consequences of war.
AMI’s international recognition relies on 29 years of global engagement: its 500 missions in 52 countries have contributed to alleviate the suffering of the populations harmed by armed conflicts, natural disasters and poverty.
At the outset, AMI’s international interventions were mainly focused on supporting the Portuguese speaking countries in Africa( Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Cape Verde, S. Tome and Prince). AMI’s mission also extended to other crisis countries such as East Timor and Pakistan, where it supported three Pakistani NGOs in providing relief aid to Afghan refugees in Peshawar. Such humanitarian initiatives were key to strengthen its reputation as a global operational organization.
AMI’s humanitarian aid to victims of the tsunami in 2004/2005 in Sri Lanka is also a good example of our emergency missions. AMI sent an exploratory team to the field within 48 hours. Sri Lanka was considered the most affected country and AMI immediately launched an emergency operation by freighting an airplane, with 10 tons of food supplies and equipment and a team composed of 6 elements. By that time Sri Lanka had 2 million IDPs and a large number of corpses to be buried. On the 30th December 2004, 10,000 tons of supplies were released from customs, making it possible for the team to distribute the supplies to the IDPs from the 31st.
In 2010, following the earthquake in Haiti, AMI sent an expatriate team to the field. During 13 months, the NGO has assured basic health care to 10.000 IDPs and has worked as the camp management agency in 3 IDPs camps.
Aware of the key role of a committed and well-organized local civil society, a strategic shift was later on taken by investing in projects carried out in partnership with local NGOs: the support provided by AMI has spanned from Asia (Iran, Iraq, Nepal, North Korea, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, India), Africa (Togo, Senegal, Cameroon, Benin, Somalia, Rwanda, Congo), Latin America (Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador) to Europe (Romania, Georgia, ex-Yugoslavia) in fields as diverse as health, education, nutrition, food security, and income-generation.