Who are we?

EMERGENCY ONG ONLUS[1] is an independent and neutral organisation founded in 1994 with two objectives: to guarantee free and high-quality health services to victims of war, landmines, and poverty and, at the same time, to promote a culture of peace, solidarity, and respect for human rights.


EMERGENCY plans, constructs and manages hospitals [2] with a long-term perspective to offer free and effective treatment to whoever needs it. In emergency situations, it organises specific missions in support of pre-existing hospitals, and also contribute towards their reconstruction and equipment.


From 1994 to 2018, EMERGENCY worked in
18 different countries.

In 2018 specifically, it was in Afghanistan, Iraq, Italy, Central African Republic, Sierra Leone and Sudan, and is currently building a specialist paediatric surgical centre in Uganda [3].

From 1994 to 2018, we treated

over 10 MILLION

people worldwide.






  •  Paediatric and adult heart surgery
  • War surgery
  • Emergency surgery and
  • General surgery
  • Orthopaedic surgery
  •  Accident and Emergency


  • Cardiology
  • Primary Healthcare
  • General Medicine
  • Neonatology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Obstetrics and gynaecology
  • Paediatrics
  • Dentistry
  • Psychological support


  • Physiotherapy
  • Production of prostheses and orthoses
  • Professional training and cooperatives for disabled people


  • Supporting patients to gain access to the national healthcare service
  • Accompanying patients to national health services facilities

I truly believe that it is essential that every citizen decides to support, in whatever ways or forms they wish, practices of peace and equality.
Because this is the foundation we build and protect, how we care for and cultivate values.
And I believe that we must not expect anything from politics or institutions, rather it is the responsibility of citizens.
It is a problem that people must take into their own hands.
Everyone declaring their own thoughts, making their own small voice heard.
If we manage to say, en masse, that we do not want war, I believe that this whisper can become a cry and really change the world.

Gino Strada,

Surgeon and Founder of EMERGENCY

(AS OF 31/12/2018)[5]


EMERGENCY believes that medical treatment is a fundamental human right and should be recognised as such for every individual.

EMERGENCY is guided by the following principles:

Absolute commitment to non-partisan assistance.

Belief that everyone is equal before suffering.

Autonomy of humanitarian aims from any political, economic, military or other contexts or influences.

Obligation to provide medical care without political, ideological or religious discrimination.

EMERGENCY’s activities put the principles and values stated in the Italian Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [7] into practise.

On 10 December 2018, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we gathered in over 85 squares throughout Italy, together with other organisations, to reaffirm to the world that every human being is born free and equal in dignity and rights.

To affirm these principles, we will not hesitate to stand with those who need treatment and assistance, as we do every time a serious disaster involves a civilian population.

10 December, 70 years ago, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was approved, which lays the foundation for a free, just and peaceful world with equal rights for every human being. The Declaration establishes the equality and dignity of every human being, and charges every state with the essential duty to guarantee that all can enjoy these inalienable rights and freedoms.

Even today, not one of the signatory states has recognised all the rights that they had committed to promote to their citizens.

In Italy, the denial of these rights in practice is facilitating the spread of new forms of racism, solidarity is considered a crime, hatred for ‘the other’ prevails over the spirit of brotherhood, aid is branded as do-goodery. Today, more than ever, we must urgently recoverthese principles of humanity and civil coexistence that underpin the Declaration, and that the rhetoric of fear is trying to dismantle.
On 10 December we are taking to the streets to tell the world that we are on the side of rights and of the people.
Taken from the #dirittiatestalta appeal, written by EMERGENCY and other Organizations participating in the event.


EMERGENCY operates in compliance with its own Statute, Code of Ethics, and organisational model, as well as the laws that regulate the sector of its operation. In 1998, EMERGENCY acquired ONLUS status and in 1999 it obtained recognition as an ONG.[9] The organisation is registered as a partner of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS). It is a body with legal status; enrolled in the register of legal entities of the Prefecture of Milan and subject to control by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies.

Employment contracts with its employees are governed by the National Collective Agreement for employees in the social-welfare, sociohealth, and educational sectors (UNEBA). [10]

Collaborative relationships with its collaborators, both in Italy and abroad, are regulated by the National Collective Agreement on coordinated and continuous collaborations signed by AOI, Link2007, and the respective trade union organisations.

Starting in 2006, EMERGENCY began a process of building its own partnership network [11] with various Italian, European and international organisations. In that year, EMERGENCY was recognised as an NGO partner of the United Nations Department of Public Information.

In 2015, EMERGENCY obtained the Special Consultative Status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and was elected a member of the National Council for Development Cooperation, as a representative of civil society organisations and other non-profit entities (as per Article 26 of Law 125/2014) on the basis of its longstanding and recognised experience in the field of development cooperation. Since 2016, EMERGENCY has also been a member of AOI, the Association of Italian NGOs.

In early 2018, EMERGENCY became a partner of ECHO, the Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection of the European Commission. In 2018, EMERGENCY renewed its Board of Directors through the election of new members. [12]