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August 3, 1994

US Military Forces and Emergency International Humanitarian AssistanceObservations and Recommendations From Three Recent Missions

Author Affiliations

From the Naval Medical Research Institute (Dr Sharp) and National Naval Medical Center (Dr Malone), Bethesda, Md, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga (Dr Yip).

JAMA. 1994;272(5):386-390. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520050066032

THE US MILITARY has a long tradition of providing emergency humanitarian relief after armed confrontation and disaster, and often to peoples of other nations. After World War II and the Vietnam War, as well as after many smaller conflicts, US forces provided supplies and medical services to thousands of refugees and displaced persons.1-3 Following earthquakes in Peru (1970) and Nicaragua (1972), flooding in Sudan (1988), volcanic eruption in the Philippines (1990), and tropical cyclones in East Bengal (1970), Sri Lanka (1978), and Bangladesh (1991), the US military dispatched medical teams and relief supplies to assist disaster victims.4-7 Also, US military forces participated for humanitarian purposes in the United Nations (UN) intervention in Korea and more recently in Kurdistan8 and Somalia.9 A US military hospital is currently in Zagreb, Croatia, to provide medical care for UN peacekeeping forces in the former Yugoslavia and possibly to displaced persons

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