NEWS | June 26, 2015

CONG teams with Project CURE to help refugees in Jordan

By Lt. Col. Nicole David Colorado National Guard

CENTENNIAL, Colorado – Some of the most rewarding experiences in the military involve building relationships.  The National Guard has various opportunities to do so as Citizen-Soldiers and -Airmen serving in local communities and with coalition partners overseas.  Colorado has been developing enduring relationships with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for more than 10 years through the State Partnership Program and continues to evolve the relationship to include civilian partners.

Recently, the Colorado National Guard and the nonprofit organization, Project CURE., which stands for Commission on Urgent Relief and Equipment, made coordinated efforts to ensure delivery of a semi-trailer sized cargo container carrying medical supplies and equipment to Jordan in support of the refugees. 

 “Project CURE's partnership with the country of Jordan is an important relationship to both stabilize the region and to improve health care conditions with thousands of dollars of donated medical supplies,” said Joe Miklosi Project CURE Director of Government Relations.  “We appreciate the help from the Colorado National Guard’s SPP office who presented the idea to the right people in Jordan, allowing Project CURE to follow through with this donation.”

While the majority of engagements Colorado does with Jordan are military-to-military in nature, the program allows for connections throughout the civilian sector and the Colorado National Guard has always championed the opportunity to engage local civilians and organizations with international partners. 

“There was an enormous amount of coordination between the embassy team and Jordan to make sure the donated medical supplies reached the communities in need,” explained U.S. Army Maj. Ashkan Angha, Colorado National Guard Bilateral Affairs Officer.  “First, the embassy team conducted meetings with local clinics in and around Amman and with local leaders to identify the specific medical needs.  Then the team communicated to Project CURE  what medical supplies were needed.  Finally, the team will ensure the medical supplies will be received and distributed to the appropriate clinics.”   

Project CURE helps to bridge the staggering health resource gaps, in this case empowering doctors and nurses with the tools they need to provide healthcare to more than 600,000 Syrian refugees and 200,000 Iraqi refugees seeking protection in Jordan.  The 20 foot customized shipping container sent to Jordan consists of thousands of medical supplies, ranging from single-use disposable items such as surgical gloves and diapers to equipment like wheel chairs and EKG machines.

"We're so pleased that the Project CURE effort is moving forward.  My thanks to everyone for the hard work and sustained effort to make this happen,” said Maj. Gen. H. Michael Edwards, The Adjutant General of the Colorado National Guard.  “As State Partners for more than ten years, we share a deep friendship and commitment with Jordan.  With the current refugee situation, I know our Jordanian friends will welcome the Project CURE shipment - it will be very beneficial.  Hopefully, as we move beyond our special military to military relationship, this is just the beginning of more civilian engagement and interaction with Jordan."

The Colorado National Guard’s military-to-military partnership with Jordan not only supports national defense security cooperation goals, but also leverages whole-of-society relationships inherent with the National Guard.  The relationship with Project CURE demonstrates the broader interagency cooperation facilitated by the Colorado National Guard State Partnership Program, which ultimately leads to subsequent engagements spanning military, government, economic and social sectors of society.