Achieving competent and equal humanitarian aid can only be done by understanding the realities and priorities that women and girls encounter in humanitarian transit processes

SAMU Foundation is a Spanish non-profit entity with over 40 years of experience in providing a wide range of care services for vulnerable groups such as the elderly, minors, migrants, and people with disabilities. With over 70 local centres in Spain, SAMU Foundation is developing their work outside of Europe and currently has offices in Morocco, the US and shortly in Ecuador and Peru.

Isabel Dato Torres is the Project Technical Advisor of SAMU’s International Development Department. She told us about the emergency teams that the SAMU Foundation has dispatched from the 2nd March to answer the World Health Organization's call to supply immediate humanitarian support  following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

SAMU Foundation has dispatched emergency response teams to Romania, Poland, and Moldova to provide healthcare support and basic needs coverage to refugees. Up to today, 5 teams have been sent for 3 weeks missions, bringing the number of volunteers deployed on the ground at around 50. Those teams contribute daily to covering the refugees needs, provide basic community assistance and occasional emergency care with logistical and financial means fully covered by SAMU Foundation, partners, local authorities, and private donations.

The reality on the field shows that many families do no longer access adequate care, and life in general seems to be put on hold. The SAMU Foundation stresses that 70-80% of the refugees are women and girls and achieving competent and equal humanitarian aid can only be done by understanding the realities and priorities that women and girls encounter in humanitarian transit processes. To ensure gender equality and the empowerment of women in humanitarian actions Isabel told us about the gender perspective that SAMU has integrated in their human rights approach. This tool aims to improve the fairness of humanitarian care mechanisms and programs by making gender equality a cornerstone of care work.

Offering protection and ensuring equal access to social services for women and girls is one of the many values that the SAMU Foundation promotes through its activities.

We asked Isabel how ESN has supported the SAMU Foundation, and she told us:

« ESN has helped us to expand our network of international and local contacts. The opportunity of exchanging best practices has helped us identify new needs and improve the way we provide certain of our services. It also helped us in understanding how organisations similar to ours, are today approaching topics as innovation, renewal and digital transformation of social services.