The history of the NGO Première Urgence – Aide Médicale Internationale (PU-AMI) starts in Afghanistan

In 1979, the world’s eyes turn to this country as it plunges into a war with soviet intervention. For the majority of the Afghan civilian population and mujahideen, unique assistance comes from international humanitarian organisations based in Pakistan. A small group of doctors and nurses from Paris decide to found the association Aide Médicale Internationale (AMI). The NGO plans to launch other actions around the world, but this intervention in Afghanistan remains the core of its mandate, and represents at the beginning 30% of its budget and means.

Over the 40 years that follow, AMI – soon becoming PU-AMI – orientates its activities in Afghanistan following the humanitarian context evolution.
For four decades, the chronical and urgent needs never disappeared, and the insecurity and consequences on the civilian population are still extremely present. The mission of PU-AMI has always been characterised by a strong medical mandate. PU-AMI teams provide access to primary care through the reinforcement of health facilities, from a healt post to a provincial hospital, including mobile clinics that respond to the vital needs of the population living in remote areas. Thanks to USAID/OFDA’s support, the teams also provide psychological support to the population affected by the war.

In 2020, after 40 years of continuous conflict, Afghanistan remains one of the most complex crisis zones in the world. Humanitarian aid is still needed today to support the most vulnerable populations. This year, PU-AMI have decided to put Afghanistan in the limelight and raise this humanitarian issue for debate. The exhibition “40 years of help” chronicles 40 years of humanitarian intervention in Afghanistan, from the first horseback border-crossing, to joint projects with the Afghan Ministry of Health.
40 years of evolutions and adaptations, with one unique objective: help Afghan civilians to bounce back and shape their own destiny.