Project HOPE and Partners Train the Humanitarian Workforce for the Next Disaster

Millwood, VA (April 4, 2017) – When a humanitarian crisis or medical emergency strikes in an unstable part of the globe, the quicker health workers can deploy and become fully operational, the more lives they can save.

To improve the skills of emergency responders, Project HOPE is hosting a Humanitarian & Disaster Response Simulation Training workshop, turning its Virginia headquarters into a simulated disaster zone, and creating scenarios that humanitarian workers might face in war zones, during natural disasters or in the midst of a refugee exodus.

“Speed saves lives in a crisis and this real time training will focus on all aspects of a response from logistics, communications, media, self-care, security and more,” says Chris Skopec, Executive Vice President of at Project HOPE. “It’s an excellent opportunity for our NGO participants to develop the skills to face the challenges confronting the humanitarian workforce.”

The event, set in the fictional country of “Simlandia” that is plagued by corruption, poverty and political violence and is afflicted by floods and droughts, will be held in partnership with Humanitarian U of Canada, the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health, and Massachusetts General Hospital’s Global Health division, and takes place between April 5-8.

During the simulation, six teams will represent “humanitarian NGO” groups that will be expected to take on the identity of the NGO they represent (MSF, Oxfam, Islamic Relief, World Vision, Red Cross and Action Against Hunger).

The program, created by Humanitarian U, provides a world-class competency-based humanitarian learning program. NGOs have a long history of training health workers and the goal of the simulation is to train a workforce that will be able to respond efficiently and effectively to any global humanitarian crises by creating a completely immersive experience that will mimic situations during a real disaster.

“There’s an urgent need to expand the humanitarian workforce with competent workers who have proper training. It’s crucial that emergency responders develop a wide range of skills to support communities devastated by disasters and conflict,” says Dr. Kirsten Johnson, CEO of Humanitarian U.

Participants will be required to carry out tasks that would be required in a real disaster zone such as assessing humanitarian needs, engaging with affected communities, negotiating with authorities, designing relief programs, coordinating with other actors in the response, and responding to security threats.

About Project HOPE
Founded in 1958, Project HOPE is a leader in global health development and emergency relief programs. An international nonprofit organization, we save lives and improve health, especially among women and children. We accomplish our mission by improving the knowledge, abilities and tools of the health workforce to deliver high quality health services to communities in need. With programs in over 30 countries, we work at the epicenter of today’s greatest health challenges, including infectious and chronic diseases, disasters and health crises, maternal, neonatal and child health and the policies that impact how health care is delivered. Learn more at www.projecthope.org and follow us on Twitter @projecthopeorg

Media Contact:
Geraldine Carroll
540-257-3746
gcarroll@projecthope.org