Malteser International opens American headquarters in Miami
Faster emergency relief, better programs in the Western hemisphere
Miami. The world’s oldest Christian charity is opening the first branch of its humanitarian relief agency in the United States. Malteser International, the relief agency of the Order of Malta – a lay Catholic order founded in Jerusalem over 900 years ago – will open the doors to its American headquarters located in greater Miami on Nov. 8.
“With this new unit, Malteser International will be better able to serve and empower communities in need on the American continent,” says Ambassador Robert L. Shafer, Permanent Observer of the Order of Malta to the United Nations. “We will not only be able to provide emergency relief faster after disasters, but we will also improve the quality of our programs through better coordination and cooperation with other humanitarian actors and networks in the region.”
With more than 100 projects annually in 25 countries, Malteser International helped around 10 million people in 2012. The agency has provided humanitarian aid for nearly 60 years worldwide, focusing on the areas of health and nutrition, water and sanitation, and disaster risk reduction. The American branch is responsible for the agency’s operations in the region – in countries such as Haiti, Mexico, and Peru.
“Since the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Malteser International has already provided medical treatment for more than 20,000 Haitians, supplied nearly 10,000 households with clean drinking water, rebuilt nine schools, and helped 2,000 small farmers recover after Hurricane Sandy, among other things,” Ambassador Shafer says. “Internationally, we have provided emergency relief both in large-scale disasters, such as the Syria crisis, as well as forgotten crises in countries such as South Sudan, Pakistan and Myanmar.”
Malteser International works in cooperation with local and international partners, such as UN Agencies, the European Union, USAID, and many other governmental and non-governmental agencies. Its parent organization, the Sovereign Order of Malta, has diplomatic relations with 104 countries, in addition to observer status at several international bodies. “Thanks to this unique diplomatic and humanitarian network, we can provide assistance quickly and efficiently around the world,” Ambassador Shafer adds.
About Malteser International:
Malteser International is the humanitarian relief agency of the Sovereign Order of Malta. With over 100 projects annually in some 25 countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas, Malteser International has been standing by those affected by poverty, disease, conflict and disaster, helping them lead a healthy life with dignity – without distinction of religion, race or political persuasion. Christian values and the humanitarian principles build the foundation of its work.