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Margaret Aguirre
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Margaret Aguirre is Head of Global Initiatives for International Medical Corps. She has traveled extensively to field programs around the world - including to Syria, Haiti, Congo, South Sudan and Lebanon - to photograph, write and speak publicly about humanitarian crises and International Medical Corps’ work. Prior to joining International Medical Corps in 2005, Margaret spent 17 years in print and broadcast journalism, including as Executive Producer at CNN, Head Writer at Good Morning America, and reporter for The Associated Press. A graduate of Columbia University, she resides in Marina del Rey, California.

Entries by Margaret Aguirre

My Country Is Gone

(0) Comments | Posted June 18, 2014 | 4:29 PM

The bombings alone didn't force Anout and her family to flee their home in a small Syrian town near the border with Iraq. Nor did the missile attacks. Nor the scarcity of food, the closing of all the schools, the loss of electricity. Anout's family -- two boys and three...

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Shield From the Storm

(1) Comments | Posted December 3, 2013 | 8:56 AM

We walked through the debris field that was the coastal town of Hernani, in the Philippines, surveying the catastrophic damage wrought by Typhoon Haiyan -- Yolanda as Filipinos call it. This was not just a typhoon of record proportions; it was a tsunami, annihilating everything in its path.


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For Syrian Refugees, the War Behind, the Recovery Ahead

(2) Comments | Posted May 14, 2013 | 9:38 AM

Aicha gazes out the window, her crystal blue eyes taking in the gray sky outside the hospital near the Syrian border in Jordan, where she has been recovering for a month now. She was badly injured after her house in Dara'a, Syria was destroyed in a mortar attack.

Her losses...

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From Antonovs to Frisbees

(1) Comments | Posted August 9, 2012 | 10:56 AM

"When the Antonovs came we had to run."

Sitting under the shade of a tree, 20-year-old Gisma recounts her terrifying ordeal, fleeing bombings in her village of Kukur in Sudan's Blue Nile State. She is cradling her 2-year-old daughter, Amna, who's been battling a cold and fever. Amna slowly...

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Damn the Rains

(0) Comments | Posted July 30, 2012 | 4:33 PM

As our six-seater closes in on the small outpost of Walgak, South Sudan, the thing we feared most -- short of a plane crash -- happens.

It starts to rain.

A few drops quickly turn into a steady pounding against the pilot's windshield. We are carrying...

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In the Famine Zone, Preventing History From Repeating Itself

(0) Comments | Posted September 9, 2011 | 1:09 PM

In the humanitarian world, there are the disasters you see coming, and the ones you don't.

We didn't foresee the massive 2010 earthquake in Haiti... the devastating floods in Pakistan... the earthquake and tsunami in Japan... or the conflicts sweeping the Arab world.

But the current drought and famine in...

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Genesis of Haiti's Second Humanitarian Disaster

(0) Comments | Posted January 12, 2011 | 10:13 AM

When a massive earthquake struck Haiti a year ago, it was immediately apparent to the world that the loss of life and the suffering would be enormous, and that humanitarian intervention would be significant and long-term.

Such a natural calamity was relatively easy to identify and "diagnose". Deaths and...

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One Remote Village, 4 Days, 250 Rapes

(5) Comments | Posted September 15, 2010 | 4:22 PM

I remember the sick feeling in my stomach as I read the e-mail from our medical coordinator in the Democratic Republic of Congo:

"We are facing a massive case of community rape in Walikale Health Zone. [...] We expect that in total the number is about 250 women raped in...

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The Ghosts of Haiti

(0) Comments | Posted March 30, 2010 | 11:59 AM

International Medical Corps
In the ICU of the University Hospital in downtown Port-au-Prince, volunteers with International Medical Corps successfully revive a patient.

I walked the grounds of the main hospital in downtown Port-au-Prince, surrounded by ghosts -- images and sounds rushing...

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What Took Seconds to Destroy Will Take Years to Rebuild

(0) Comments | Posted January 27, 2010 | 7:39 PM

Here in Port-au-Prince, it is hard to imagine what it will take to rebuild what was wiped out in seconds. 
The once-bustling port city is a shadow of its former self. The National Palace, which once sat expansive and regal amid its tropical gardens, is collapsed at its center. Chapels...

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Dispatch from Port-au-Prince

(7) Comments | Posted January 18, 2010 | 1:58 PM

When I wrote this, it was 72 hours after the earthquake hit and I'm on the ground with our International Medical Corps team. We are set up in a mobile hospital in the parking lot of a collapsed hospital across from the Presidential Palace.

It is important for people in...

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Oprah and the Power of 10

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2009 | 2:31 PM

Ten dollars.

It's not a large sum of money. In this country, 10 bucks doesn't really buy that much -- maybe a decent glass of wine, a previously viewed DVD, a couple cans of tennis balls.

In the humanitarian world we go to great lengths to describe in simple terms...

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Simple Pleasures and Long-term Care for Iraqi Refugees in Syria

(0) Comments | Posted November 16, 2009 | 4:40 PM

I noticed her the moment I walked into our health clinic on the outskirts of Damascus, Syria. Eleven-year-old "Fatma," so pretty, but pale and reed-thin, her hair pulled back in a barrette, rings under her downcast eyes. I can only imagine what horrors have unfolded before her eyes.

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