Malteser International is the worldwide relief agency of the Sovereign Order of Malta for humanitarian aid with the status of a non-governmental organisation. The relief service has more than 50 years of experience in humanitarian relief and currently covers around 100 projects in about 20 countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas. Currently, 23 national associations and priories of the Order of Malta are members of Malteser International.
Evolved from Malteser Germany, thus set up in accordance with German law, and internationalised in 2005, the organisation actually has two branches: “Malteser International” in Europe (Cologne/Germany) and “Order of Malta Worldwide Relief - Malteser International Americas” in the USA (Washington DC). It provides aid in all parts of the world without distinction of religion, race or political persuasion. Christian values and the humanitarian principles of impartiality and independence are the foundation of its work. Its mission is not only to provide emergency relief, but also to implement rehabilitation measures and to facilitate the link between emergency relief and sustainable development. Malteser International establishes and promotes primary health care services and seeks to reduce vulnerability and poverty. It is committed to ensure high quality standards. Accountability and transparency are priorities on its agenda.
Malteser International’s mission is to:
1. provide relief to major emergencies in the world and implement reconstruction and rehabilitation measures with a community focus;
2. establish and promote primary health care services and contribute to better health by providing nutrition related programmes;
3. contribute to better health and dignified living conditions by providing access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH);
4. implement livelihood measures and social programmes to ensure the access of people to income security and reduce their vulnerability and poverty;
5. establish and promote disaster risk reduction activities, especially at a community level.
HOW THEY HELP: RELIEF, RECONSTRUCTION & REHABILITATION
In the aftermath of war, natural disaster or following a particular crisis Malteser International responds to the fundamental needs of the affected population. In these early stages, the focus of any response is upon helping people with basic survival. Programmes focussing on emergency medical relief and the distribution of relief items – such as the means for water purification and storage, household items, shelter kits and basic food rations – are “first response instruments”.
After these basic needs have been met, Malteser International’s aim is to further reduce vulnerability and to provide communities affected by crises and disasters with sustainable reconstruction and rehabilitation programmes promoting a strong development perspective. Respective programme components include actual reconstruction of houses and public buildings as well as social rehabilitation measures such as the reintegration of refugees within their homeland or reconciliation programmes in war-torn communities.