EARTH COUNCIL Geneva has no connection with the EARTH COUNCIL ALLIANCE

IMC UK’s mission in Ethiopia implements an emergency shelter, NFI and shelter repair kit provision project for conflict affected IDPs and returnees in Oromia region, East Hararghe Zone, Kumbi and Meyu Muluke Woreda.

One of IMC’s beneficiaries is Habsa Redewan Usmail, a 40-year-old mother living in Kumbi woreda with her six 6 girls and three boys. Habsa lost her husband, cattle, house, and all her property during the ethnic conflict between Oromos and Somalis six years ago.

She told us ‘[I was] unable to feed my children properly and send them to school...Gradually, I started cultivating my land and reconstructed my house. When the recent war broke out in our community, I lost everything for the second time. I even got shot on my leg.’

‘My children and I were forced to flee to Burka town - Gola Oda woreda 100 km away from Mino kebele,’ she continued. ‘Life is very difficult living as a displaced person, especially with a disability and without adequate water, shelter, food, health care or other basic needs. My children dropped their school and we had no hope at the time’.

When the security situation improved, Habsa and her children decided to return to their home town, Mino. Still, she recalled that they had ‘nothing left back home to re-establish’ their lives. They only had ‘plastic sheeting and some other house utensils that we received.’

Her family could not cultivate their land or construct shelter. They were living with the help of WFP food aid and were living in temporary shelters.

‘Then I heard about the assistance of shelter construction the first time when IMC Outworkers came to our village and told us they will help some returnees, with shelter construction materials’ she told us. ‘I initially was not sure whether I would be among those beneficiaries because of the large need in our kebele because so many residents were displaced.’

After a clear and impartial selection by IMC UK, and a verification process which involved elders, beneficiaries, kebele administration, and committees, she was selected as a beneficiary. She received supplies like corrugated iron sheet, nails, poles hinges and cash - all the things she needed to build her own shelter.

‘This is the first time in a year that I feel like a human being,’ says Habsa Redewan. ‘Using what I received and with IMC UK staff close supervision, I am now able to construct my own shelter.

‘Moreover, I am immensely happy because I have my land possession certificate through the help of IMC. Now I can close my door and feel safe.’




"Dear Reto,

Thank you for the Earth Council Geneva’s very generous July 2020 donation to support our response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Your ongoing support helps International Medical Corps bring healthcare and hope to those who need it most during this challenging time.

As the number of cases continues to rise globally, International Medical Corps is focused on ensuring the continuity of our existing programming in nearly 30 countries while taking decisive action to respond to COVID-19 cases. We continue to distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) and infection prevention and control (IPC) items to healthcare facilities, while providing training and support to frontline healthcare workers on the proper use of such equipment and the epidemiology of COVID-19.

Our facilities continue to screen patients and raise awareness in local communities through traditional and remote activities. International Medical Corps is also participating with global, regional and local coordination bodies to support their COVID-19 response and ensure that our Staff can respond to the outbreak while continuing to deliver critical healthcare services.

I am deeply grateful for your continued generosity and commitment to our work. We will keep you updated on this crucial work and on how, together, we are saving lives and relieving suffering. Thank you.

All the best,

Nancy A. Aossey

IMC President & CEO"





The Earth Council Geneva has been in partnership with International Medical Corps (IMC) of Los Angeles since April 2009. Our 9 e-learning courses developed by ECG, which yielded thousands of students in over 80 countries, was then “substituted” by Al Gore, Google etc. and we decided to concentrate our efforts on projects with more tangible results. The decision to focus on “fresh water for children in underdeveloped countries” was embraced both by our Board at a Geneva meeting, as well as by our partner IMC. ECG would help to develop projects and provide financing, while IMC would implement projects in the countries we mutually selected.

After assisting IMC in their efforts to eliminate the Ebola Virus, to bring water to Syrian Refugee Camps and to help Philippine-victims during the first years of our partnership, we worked out a project in 2012 to bring fresh water to schools in Ethiopia, where water is scarce and often contaminated. Since then this endeavor, in a collaborative approach, has been implemented in well-defined steps and resulted in very satisfactory results. We have also been fortunate to enlist the help of both Dow/Dupont as well as IBM Corporation.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

The work is in progress, the results are amazing.  Here is how it works:

Step one:

For defined areas in the countryside of Ethiopia - together with the Ethiopian government, cement slabs to set up toilets are produced. (First toilets in those areas!) The sanitary issues are addressed with training, training training and education of the hygiene issues.  




Step two:

Drilling holes for water in schools. Children walk 10 to 20 hours to schools - carrying 20-30 kg containers with water. Clean water at the school allows much more time for education. Again, training and education is key. Indeed, most schools now have “wash clubs”,

with older kids educating the young ones (and their parents) as to when and how to wash their hands and how to use water. 



Step three:

Schools on nutrition for children, once breastfeeding ends. Classes for women shows them how to better use their vegetables, with fresh water, and how to incorporate nuts and fruits to increase balanced nutrition. (And not only small kids love that ’new' food!) 

It is all built to ensure sustainability - through training the trainers, explanation and education.  


The cycle of the programs relating to the project are extremely well thought-out and executed: a) Toilets to curb unsanitary conditions, b) access to, and understanding of clean water, and consequently c) healthy food preparation in a clean environment. 

Local people are trained to teach principles throughout communities to ensure SUSTAINABILITY.

One of the modest hospitals in this area 10 years ago had over 500 in and out patients during this time of the year. At this time they afd down to 25 patients! The death rate through hygiene is falling dramatically.

The Earth Council Geneva is making a difference - albeit small - in the context of humanity. But many many villages are following these programs and enjoy a huge change in their lives.  


We are proud to be a partner of the International Medical Corps.




The drought caused by the Indian Ocean Dipole is proving to be the worst in Ethiopia for the past 50 years, particularly devastating as it follows last year’s El Niño drought. Close to 6 million people are in need of food and water. The Somali region of southern Ethiopia is the most critically affected with 1.2 million people (31% of the population) facing crisis. It has reported an estimated 49,000 severe acute malnutrition (SAM) cases, about one sixth of the total 300,000 across Ethiopia. The present situation is expected to worsen as the Belg and gu/ganna/sugum rains are late, weak and erratic, and the October-December Deyr or short-rains season brought severely low levels of rainfall to the region. There is therefore a critical water shortage in Somali region and a total of 185 woredas need water trucking. Unsafe water has led to recent reports of 15,000 cases of acute watery diarrhea, and cases of meningococcal meningitis, measles, dengue fever, scabies and chikungunya are widely reported and spreading. 

Admissions to care for severe acute malnutrition, as well as the need for food assistance and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) support in agricultural and pastoral areas are expected to increase in the months to come. For example, Gambella region expects 90,000 or more new refugees from South Sudan; as the camp at Nguniyel is already full, UNHCR and the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) are opening a new camp in Benishangul Gumuz. Somali region’s Erer and Liban zones also show significant nutritional, WASH and health needs.

With the financial support of the Earth Council Geneva, International Medical Corps has worked in Ethiopia since 2003 to strengthen local capacity to deliver services related to infectious disease and HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, nutrition, psychosocial support, maternal and child health, water, sanitation, and hygiene, and livelihoods. International Medical Corps is responding with emergency health, nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene in the host communities within the Somali (6 woredas), Oromia (20 woredas), and Southern Nations region (10 woredas)—areas at the epicenter of the drought and food security crisis.


Earth Council Geneva/ International Medical Corps Respond

With the donations from Earth Council Geneva, International Medical Corps will address the immediate water-related needs and challenges faced at the schools and health facilities and neighboring community within the targeted woredas. This project directly complements International Medical Corps’ resilience and sanitation marketing efforts in Wolayita, which reach the same local communities with nutrition, primary health care, and livelihoods services, and builds on efforts previously supported by Earth Council Geneva, DOW Chemical and IBM to increase access to clean water and safe hygiene practices, by meeting additional water needs in the same targeted communities.

To ensure the sustainability of the project, 42 local representatives from the WASH committee are being trained on water system management and maintenance to assume ownership and sustain the established water systems at the six facilities. Additionally, teams will raise awareness on positive WASH-related behaviors among the community members through the distribution of culturally appropriate information, education and communication materials. The materials will provide information on the benefits of safe drinking water and safe water management, latrine use for defecation, and the most critical times for washing hands to further decrease the number of WASH-related diseases. International Medical Corps will also coordinate with local government offices and schools so that the program is implemented in a sustainable manner. For example, local community members will be directly involved throughout the project, participating in continual monitoring and follow-up to ensure positive long-term WASH results.


Further progress will be posted on this website - donations are most welcome to save as many children as possible - together!

(Address and Account Information under 'Donate')


IMC - IBM - Dow Chemical

In partnership with IMC, IBM and Dow Chemical we continue to invest in providing access to clean water throughout the country, including in Wolayita and the surrounding areas.  The UN’s Global Humanitarian Overview anticipates that in 2017, 5.6 million people will require food assistance; 1.2 million children  and mothers will require nutrition support; 2.4 million people will need livestock support; and some 9.2 million people will still be without safe drinking water across the country.

With the ongoing drought in the region, our teams have continued to address critical shortages of drinking water, along with deteriorating sanitation and hygiene conditions. 

Over the last six months, International Medical Corps teams in Wolayita and surrounding areas have:

  • Cleaned and rehabilitated 43 shallows wells and hand-dug wells, and installed hand pumps and generators, directly benefitting some 3,500 people.
  • Trucked water to kebeles critically affected by the drought and launched broad hygiene education programs to help keep families safe – benefitting 28,848 men, women and children – using radio and outreach campaigns, direct training, and the broad distribtuion of education materials
  • Continued critically-needed programs that help prevent and address malnutrition, especially in the face of ongoing food insecurity caused by drought – including the management of severe acute malnutrition of children under 5.  Over the last several months, we’ve treated 776 children, 98% of whom fully recovered.



Earth Council Geneva is responding to the Nepal earthquake by supporting International Medical Corps to provide emergency care to survivors with lifesaving medical supplies and care. 

Two days after the massive earthquake rocked Nepal, International Medical Corps First Responders were on the ground in the hard-hit Gorkha district, at the epicenter of the quake, delivering urgently needed health care and distributing lifesaving supplies. 

In Kathmandu, International Medical Corps teams visited overwhelmed hospitals and a displaced persons camp, the largest in town, with roughly 5,000 people. No shelter is available and water and sanitation systems are very limited. Roads are destroyed and blocked, making some communities accessible only by foot – at times, a 2 hour trek over harrowing terrain. The potential for outbreaks of waterborne illnesses and other communicable diseases is very high, and deteriorating weather conditions, including cold temperatures, rain and thunderstorms will only exacerbate already difficult conditions. 

Earth Council Geneva, in line with many previous engagements, supports the efforts through International Medical Corps to provide clean water with the mobile medical units for people in need to prevent disease.








With the support of Earth Council-Geneva, International Medical Corps identified specific activities designed to improve sanitation and hygiene practices at the community level in the Wolyata Zone in Southern Ethiopia beginning September 2014. This project is in line with the ECG Mission statement and is complementing and leveraging 500.000 euros in funding from ECHO.

The tools and approaches derived from the formative research and Sanitation Marketing Strategy carried out by DOW CHEMICAL and IMC will enable IMC and ECG to be pioneers in expanding the sanitation marketing approach in Ethiopia, influence other hygiene and sanitation actors in Ethiopia, and scale its contribution to the improvement of community health and livelihoods in Ethiopia's most vulnerable communities - with the view of replicating the process in other countries in need for such programs.

The sanitation Marketing Project in Boloso-sore and Damot-pulassa districts of Wolayita was launched to support the Community Led Total Sanitation and Hygiene Programs in those districts.

Both communities are receiving nutrition, mental health support and livelihoods through the program. The project is designed to increase adoption of safe hygiene practices and to ensure effective use of new WASH infrastructure, especially latrines and hand-washing stations, developed under the overall project.

The EARTH COUNCIL-GENEVA funded-project is implementing the sanitation marketing program developed by DOW and IMC.



We are providing funds to document each step of the program and its implementation. This will allow us to replicate the project in other countries in need of improving sanitation and hygiene.




Activities to date have included:

Government Participation

Working closely with district level officials to create buy-in; integrate local expertise; and help ensure successful adoption and implementation of the marketing program.

  • International Medical Corps teams in Ethiopia brought together 20 district level officials (10 from each district) from the following units:  Agriculture and Rural Development; Finance and Economic; Marketing and Cooperatives; Rural Job Opportunity; Small and Medium Enterprises; Microfinance; Health Office and Water; Mines and Energy, among other.
  • Meetings included a presentation on the program; participatory discussion to answer questions and integrate local expertise
  • As a result of the ongoing meetings and discussions, both administration units officially endorsed the marketing program, including adding it to the top of their respective agendas to be reviewed with International Medical Corps monthly over the length of the program, helping to ensure that learning is shared with district officials and that challenges can be addressed in a timely manner.
  • International Medical Corps also worked with the government officials to select the four pilot kebeles, two in each region.  Kebeles were chosen based on the fact that they had existing programs to combat open defection; easy access to markets; communities had some level of buying capacity; the presence of a dedicated, strong health extension agent; presence of cooperatives/associations; and availability of artisans to construct latrines and materials.


Sanitation Marketing Teams 

International Medical Corps also worked with the government officials to form Sanitation Marketing Enablers Teams in each district – 9 district level experts in sanitation and marketing programs that will work hand-in-hand to implement the program with International Medical Corps and ensure that local knowledge and expertise is integrated into the program; and so that International Medical Corps can train these teams on the approach for future use.

  • Sanitation Marketing Teams liaise with artisans building latrines and with government officials to ensure that local, government rules and regulations are met.
  • Teams provide regular and ongoing communication with government and local leaders to create additional buy-in, expand outreach programs and encourage community participation through all channels
  • Teams are working with religious leaders, health extension workers, agricultural health extension workers, heads of health centers and clinics, and key religious leaders.


Artisan Team

An artisan team of 15 local artisans trained in latrine and handwashing construction has been formed to support the project.  These artisans are certified with the government, helping to ensure the supply chain and that latrines and handwashing stations can be built quickly and maintained.


Key Learnings to Date

  • The project has reinforced the work required to build consensus among local government officials to ensure success of the project.  The challenges in ensuring local buy in led to the creation of the Sanitation Team and Artisan Team – selected participants that already work with the government and local leaders and can ensure that the program follows local rules and regulations.  The formation of these teams is an innovation in how we approach our work.
  • Specifically, emphasis was initially placed on latrine construction by the government.  It took quite a bit of meeting and discussion to help stakeholders understand the role of marketing in creating behavior change and adoption of safer practices.


Ongoing activities

  • Marketing Campaign: Mass media radio messaging; Deployment of “development armies” who work with household leaders to deliver messages; ongoing work with community leaders to integrate messaging across sectors.
  • Demonstration Latrines: Construction and “showcasing” of improved latrines
  • Artisan Teams:  Ongoing training and supportive supervision of artisan teams who are constructing/repairing latrines and handwashing stations.






With the support of Earth Council Geneva, International Medical Corps opened a new Ebola Treatment Unit in Bong County, Liberia.

With the opening of this unit, there are just six facilities in Liberia capable of treating Ebola in the country. International Medical Corps’ Ebola Treatment Unit is about 120 miles north of Liberia’s capital Monrovia - only the second treatment unit outside of that city. Earth Council Geneva has helped make this possible – and this support will help International Medical Corps save more lives and contain this deadly virus.

Once at full capacity, the facility will employ more than 200 specially-trained staff, 90% of whom will be Liberians. And while International Medical Corps fights to contain Ebola and save lives, it will also train healthcare workers and families in affected communities to help them become their own best First Responder to this and future outbreaks.

You can find out more about the new facility and the situation on the ground in the below video.


In the following video, 60 Minutes profiles International Medical Corps efforts to stop Ebola at its source in West Africa. Reporting from the Ebola Treatment Unit run by International Medical Corps in Liberia, 60 Minutes features healthcare workers fighting the battle against the deadly disease.








November 6, 2014 – Los Angeles, Calif. – International Medical Corps will deliver a new program in sanitation marketing in the Wolayta Zone in Ethiopia with collaborative funding from Earth Council Geneva. Through this program, International Medical Corps will promote the construction of sustainable, affordable and safe latrines and hand washing facilities and deliver hygiene education for vulnerable communities.

“Earth Council Geneva’s timely and generous award will allow International Medical Corps to reach vulnerable communities plagued by chronic food insecurity and a lack of access to sanitation facilities and hygiene education, potentially saving countless lives,” said Rabih Torbay, Senior Vice President of International Medical Corps.  “We are grateful to Earth Council Geneva for its support and collaboration to improve the health and well-being of these communities by focusing on sanitation and hygiene.”

Since 2011, with support from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection unit (ECHO), International Medical Corps has integrated water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) into its programs in the region to bring communities access to clean water while curtailing open defecation through the construction of latrines and promoting safe hygiene practices. However, many latrines in the area remain in poor condition, are unsafe to use and are only functional for a short period of time. Education to improve latrine construction and increase knowledge on proper use and maintenance is crucial to the sustainable sanitation and hygiene of local families. 

Through funding from Earth Council Geneva, International Medical Corps will promote an improved household latrine prototype and organize local builders to learn construction techniques. International Medical Corps will also produce promotional materials to distribute to households, coordinate with government partners to ensure sustainability and train local health workers and community members.

This program expands and complements work completed earlier this summer (August 2014) in Wolayta by DOW Chemical’s Leadership in Action (LIA) program and IBM’s Corporate Service Corps which together with International Medical Corps developed sanitation marketing activities and methodologies that can measure the effectiveness of its resilience building programs in the region.

“Earth Council Geneva is pleased to partner with International Medical Corps to build upon the effective marketing strategies and measurement tools developed in partnership with DOW Chemical and IBM to promote healthy hygiene and sanitation practices.  This is an important step to creating sustainable solutions for sanitation in Ethiopia, a project replicable in other countries. We are proud of our partnership since 2009 with International Medical Corps and the many projects we could support during these years in several countries. It is particularly pleasing to see NGO’s and large corporations work together to make life better for people in need.”  said Reto Braun, Chairman of the Board, Earth Council Geneva.

Since 2003, International Medical Corps has operated a diversified program in Ethiopia, providing training and services in WASH, livelihoods, prevention of gender-based violence, nutrition, mental health, sexual reproductive health, primary health care, HIV/AIDS and other essential needs. The organization’s programs in Ethiopia focus on rural, urban and refugee settings and are designed to be sustainable through full community participation.


About International Medical Corps

Since its inception 30 years ago, International Medical Corps’ mission has been consistent: relieve the suffering of those impacted by war, natural disaster, and disease, by delivering vital health care services and sustainable development projects that focus on training. This approach of helping people help themselves is critical to returning devastated populations to self-reliance. For more information visit: Also see us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.




With the generous support of Earth Council Geneva, International Medical Corps will intervene in the village of Bait al Gadabi and provide ceramic water filters and training on their use to each of the approximately 220 households in the village.  These ceramic water filters are designed to sterilize the water for a 7 member family for a period of 3 – 4 years (depending on water quality), and are an effective and cost-effective method of assuring access to clean water for the community. International Medical Corps has notable experience distributing these types of ceramic water filters and training recipients in their use, and this intervention will have an immediate benefit in terms of increased access to clean water while also helping make these households more resilient to future environmental shocks.



EARTH COUNCIL GENEVA is helping to provide fresh water to needy people in the Philippines through our partner, IMC.

IMC has sent an Emergency Response Team, with medical staff and water and sanitation experts, to the remote island of Guiuan.  They were met by hundreds of people waiting for food, water, and medical care. The devastation is extensive.

IMC doctors started treating patients as soon as they stepped off the airplane, treating people lining the tarmac waiting for assistance at the airport. They treated infected cuts and injuries caused by flying debris.  The team is already reporting cases of diarrheal disease due to a lack of clean water, and expect to see an increase in dengue fever, tetanus and measles as well.

The team is making their way to villages on the island where no one has yet sent help, in order to tend to the sick and injured. They will drive as far as then can and then walk.




Earth Council Geneva has embarked on another venture with the International Medical Corps. There is a significant and urgent need to address some major water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) needs in informal tented settlements in the Bekaa and North of Lebanon. The influx of Syrian refugees (more than 70,000 registered per month, though many choose not to register with the United Nations) has put increasing pressure on these informal settlements and the people are facing numerous health concerns, specifically related to sanitation and hygiene issues. Intervention is urgently needed.  Many of these tented settlements have received no support to date.

·         In a tented settlement in Miniara in the north sewage has contaminated large areas of the community and the area has since been invaded by a large number of flies. The community has yet to receive any hygiene kits and many of the residents have lice and scabies. International Medical Corps is coordinating with WASH organizations to address the sewage issues.

·         In Menieh there is a new tented settlement in the north (100 tents, 300 families), and there are approximately 300 cases of lice and scabies that have not received any medication to address these issues. As the settlement is new they have not received any aid. International Medical Corps has completed health education sessions and is coordinating with UNHCR to address sewage and latrine issues.

·         In Dedeh, International Medical Corps health educators visited Al Waha shelter, which is new and has 140 families (935 people). They found 685 children under the age of 15, 250 elderly, and 17 pregnant women. There were 250 cases of scabies infections and it is believed that all residents have lice. International Medical Corps is providing health education and working with WASH actors to address infrastructure issues.

Based on this assessment and others like it from IMC health educators, it is estimated that there are 4,000 new cases of lice and scabies in one area of the north and another 2,000 cases in Baalbek. There is an urgent need to procure more lice and scabies medications as well as hygiene kits to help address these issues. All of these supplies (with ECG’s recent support) will now be provided to communities.  First will come thorough explanations on how to use the medications and kits, as well as sessions addressing hygiene issues to prevent further infections.  Other topics, including women and children’s health, breastfeeding, etc., will be explained as well.  This should a tremendous benefit to the refugees in such dire trouble.




Earth Council Geneva has generously funded the International Medical Corps,which will enable them to implement a new project.  This endeavor will create a healthier and more hygienic environment in the El Buss Palestinian camp, as well as  among its students and teachers. This location and intervention is based on the experience gained from implementing the previous hygiene and sanitation project in Bourj el Shemali, in addition to meetings with the camp popular committees, the UNRWA schools, a water and sanitation expert at UNRWA and a water and sanitation specialist at PARD (Popular Aid for Relief and Development). This project is designed to improve the hygiene and sanitation conditions of two schools (each with primary and intermediate capacities) and use the rehabilitation of the facilities as a platform for awareness-raising on improved hygiene and waste management practices.

International Medical Corps will improve upon four existing sanitary facilities by installing water filtration systems in two primary and intermediate schools to provide access to clean and safe drinking water. Additionally, International Medical Corps will provide ToT training to teachers in the schools with the intent of passing on further hygiene and sanitation knowledge to the students through awareness sessions throughout not only this year, but years to come. Lastly, to complement the hygiene awareness, small hygiene kits containing essential personal hygiene items will be provided to the students.

This will be a significant advancement for this camp, and gratitude is extended to ECG for its continued support.




The director of the Rural Alaska Village Water Program is presently in discussion with International Medical Corps(IMC) staff, and the focus of these talks will be to create e-learning courses that can be made accessible to remote Alaskan villages. Currently, eight courses are offered through the State of Alaska, but attendance at these centrally-located courses is not always possible.

Travel to and from the communities is difficult, so having this material available online would increase its effectiveness, and enable more villagers to qualify for assistance and apply for state and federal funds.The situation in remote Alaskan villages is often similar to the difficulties faced by remote African communities, and the developing e-learning module will be tailored so that it can be used in schools and settlements in poor countries throughout the world.



March 19th, 2012

Rural Alaska is characterized by over 280 isolated villages scattered across an area larger than Europe. Many of these communities lack a safe source of drinking water or a safe means of sewage disposal.  These communities could make the change from unsafe water facilities to safe sanitation practices, but oftentimes they need direction and assistance in order to access existing US State and Federal programs.

Earth Council Genevahas partnered with the non-profit organization EarthTabs, to establish the Rural Alaska Village Water Program, an effort which will facilitate these communities in need in reaching their goal of safe water and sanitation services.  More information will be provided as the program gets underway.