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Saving Lives

From an early time, Sebastian Jünemann was driven to work in emergency medicine, but couldn’t see himself spending a lifetime in the German medical system. So, he completed an education as a paramedic while completing his civil service course — and even after studying biology and pedagogy, and a master’s in organizational psychology, the paramedic work has been running like a continuous thread through Sebastian’s life as a hands-on philanthropist.

He founded CADUS, a Berlin based organization engaged in saving lives through medical and rescue missions. They are active in the Mediterranean Sea on sea rescue missions, as well as in Syria and Northern Iraq with medical treatments, trainings and recently they built a mobile hospital.

In this dossier we will follow CADUS’ mission throughout the year 2017.

For its first chapter we spoke with Sebastian in our editorial office in Berlin.


What it takes to save lives

Sebastian, you’ve been engaged in humanitarian work since a long time. What drives you? The vulnerability of the human condition? 

In 1999, Hurricane Mitch took away thousands of lives and made hundreds of thousands of people homeless in Nicaragua. At that time I'd committed myself to a project where I was supposed to work with street kids - and when I arrived there I couldn’t help but support local medical teams in disaster response with my paramedic background. So, my first engagement in humanitarian aid was sort-of by accident, but I understood right away that this is what I wanted to pursue. 

I then joined a range of disaster response teams, for instance to help after the Haiti earthquake (with a death toll way over 200,000 people), through to the Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines in 2013. It was a very intense and productive time, with some awkward experiences on the other hand. 

When I say awkward, I mean, for example, the repetitive patterns of Western aid: somewhere a catastrophe happens, then a lot of white people from Europe and North America come and do things they think are the right ones in a manner they think is correct. It's a combination of extremely disorganised and extremely bureaucratic processes, with huge amounts of money being spent and after some time the aid workers disappear with nothing left behind. While that happens in a few weeks, the actual work transpires over months and maybe even years. 

How do you make a difference?

I thought that there should be alternative ways to help. For instance, by working much closer with local communities and also by finding ways to improve the whole area of logistics.

I was looking for an effective model between the large aid organisations, which often waste tremendous amounts of money, and very small grass root organisations, which come there with two suitcases filled with medicine and no real plan.

Also, I was involved in the music festival business for about ten years. It sounds like a totally different thing but when you look at it from a logistical view it’s about going somewhere with no infrastructure and building something up that's highly functional with water and power supply, medical support, and so on, within a very short time.

"I learned a lot from that experience, and became friends with people who lived up to that community spirit."

cadus team

Against this backdrop and out of this context we founded CADUS. Maybe this is an important aspect which brings in a different spirit to our organisation. 

What kind of particular impact does it create when you work in disaster response? 

Well, we always work with exploration techniques, meaning we go there prior to our mission and discuss with local people what they are able to do on their own, what are their very specific needs, and we can bring in. 

You know, currently, a big thing in aid business is "capacity building". 

The ideas to create sustainable structures and develop local resources are good, but you cannot blanket apply them - regardless of the situation on the spot. For instance, in Northern Syria there are already a lot of self-administrated structures built up by refugees, but they face a lot of political problems. So the best support in that context would be to help solving these political conflicts. 

Are you able to build up sustainable local structures? 

cadus medical training

Partially, yes. We always start working with the question: what do we have to do here so that people won’t need us anymore? Of course an important aspect of this question has to do with education and training programs such as 'Train the Trainers'.

But you can only do that when you come back periodically, which in some areas like in North Syria doesn’t work. Hence, we thought, OK, we need to go beyond that and think about a concept which works remotely, as well. And, so we developed an e-learning concept.

cadus repair team

Another approach is to use equipment that has been in use there before, so people already have the experience in maintenance and repair, and perhaps spare parts are available locally. We applied this when we built our mobile hospital. As a carrier, we used a vehicle that has been exported to the Middle East for decades. 

But then there are projects which can’t be sustainable by nature, for instance our sea-rescue mission. You go there and save lives, that’s what’s needed in that very moment, and we’re only there to provide help. 

Sure, and with all due respect to sustainable measures, people need instant help — like in Mosul in Northern Iraq. Why is it that CADUS, being a comparatively small organisation is one of the only ones that provides medical support apart from Medicines sans Frontiers (MSF)? 

I enormously respect the work of MSF - their whole organisation is highly sophisticated, drawing from a very large pool of knowledge and experience. But they are a very large organisation which needs to deploy pre-developed procedures, for instance when it comes to security measures to provide sufficient safety for the people who are involved in their respective missions worldwide. Meaning, out of efficiency requirements, they need to develop worldwide adaptability solutions. 

"CADUS as a small organization, can thus be much more flexible and adapt to local circumstances more easily."

So, in this case MSF is situated a bit outside of Mosul, while we found an individually designed, small scale solution providing security within the city where people need medical help, too. 

How do you maintain CADUS’ engagement and how do you finance all these activities? 

Well, we receive funding - however we’re always financed insufficiently according to the scope of the particular mission, so we constantly find ways to realise a project, which usually means that our team works voluntarily without being paid sufficiently. What keeps us going is the motivation that comes from accomplishing our mission within the given difficult circumstances. 

"We constantly find ways to realise a project, which usually means that our team works voluntarily." 

How many people does your team comprise of? 

The core team is about 10 to 15 people, all of them work very hard, and then there is a group of supporters of about 30-40 people. 

And, how are you personally doing this job, are you making a living? 

No, not at all, but I’ve decided three years ago that I want to do this work. I’ve been in the traditional paramedic work for 15 years, additionally serving as a workers’ council within the paramedic organisation, that was really frustrating. 

"Practically that means six days week for CADUS, and three nights as a club bouncer in Kreuzberg, Berlin." 

So, I’ve said I will build up CADUS to a level that it’s sustainable and able to pay for people like me on a regular basis, but until then, like my colleagues, I make my living with precarious side jobs. In my case this is to work as a bouncer. Practically that means six days week for CADUS, and three nights as a club bouncer in Kreuzberg, Berlin. 

Could you describe your last year? Is there a typical schedule, how often are you away for a mission, how much of your time do you spend here for preparation, administration and funding?  

Last year I wasn’t away so much, because we spend a lot of time with building our mobile hospital, and of course funding such as writing applications for funds, gathering donations. Financing our projects, as you can imagine, is a very difficult part of our work. The projected budget for the mobile hospital was around 300,000 Euros. We didn’t get any money from foundations, and until October 2016 we had only raised about 40,000 Euros… 

Support CADUS Mobile Hospital Mission by donating to their betterplace campaign here.

How did you raise that money then? 

… We gathered 20,000 Euros through our betterplace campaign, and the rest was provided through donations and support from our club and music festival network. For instance, there is a network in Hamburg called "Off the Radar" which supported us a lot, as well as "Audio Lead", a music label also from Hamburg, which helped to raise a lot of donations. Furthermore, an initiative called "MV for Kobane" from Rostock, which decided to allocate their support for our Mobile Hospital Project. With 40,000 Euros in October available, we managed to reach 100,000 Euros by the end of the year. So that was 2016. 

cadus mobile hospital land rover

2015 was quite different. I was in Syria five times, for training missions. In between we came back to Berlin, raised money, went back again and so on. 

However, we could be way better in fundraising, but, let me put it this way: people who are doing this kind of humanitarian work are not the best promoters, and I mean this in a way that they are often too modest, they feel that they would praise themselves if they talked too much about what they are doing as volunteers. So, we have to improve our fund raising skills through involving professionals in this important field.  

But, you know, it’s also a matter of media attention. For instance, we were talking to TV stations, and what they said was that it would be better to do broadcasting from Syria, whereas our mobile hospital mission focusses first on the area around Mosul in Northern Iraq. 

cadus anhänger

How do you deal with these mechanisms of media and promotion? 

Well, it's really awkward for us, because the feasibility our medical missions depend on so many factors; we cannot and, of course don’t want to go to certain areas just because media attention is high, and thus, may be make the funding easier. 

Let me give you another example, it’s not media related, however it displays how media and promotion affects donor organisations: recently, I applied for funding from a multinational pharmaceutical company, which set up a large fund for disaster recovery. After examining my proposal, they said: we see the necessity, but there is too much "catastrophe" in your application, it’s too negative, why don’t you say more about "hope" and make the story more positive? Really? I mean, of course it would be nicer to talk about hope, but the situation is a catastrophe, and because there is a catastrophe happening every day people need our help! 

"There is too much catastrophe in your application. Can't you talk a bit more about hope?"

When you are on a mission, how much money do you need per day to fulfil your medical aid requirements? 

cadus mobile hospital truck

From our initial funding of 100,000 Euros we invested almost 70,000 in the mobile hospital vehicles and more than 30,000 on medical material. With this infrastructure and equipment we are able to provide what we call trauma triage to injured people, large wounds can thus be medically treated with a capacity of two operations at a time and ten beds for further therapies. 

To fulfil this we need medical material which costs around 15,000 Euros per month. That’s comparatively little money, which is also due to the situation that we don’t do general health, which requires the dispensing of antibiotics etc. which would increase our costs significantly. 

Then in 2016 you started CADUS’ Sea Rescue Missions. 

Right, the Sea Rescue Missions became our second area of activity — in the Aegean Sea, as well as in the Mediterranean. 

And how did these missions begin?

serekaniye hospital

Well, let me give you some background that brought us there. When we were in Northern Syria the situation can only be described as devastating and full of despair. It’s a region locked up from all sides, extremely suffering under the attacks from the IS, which was — contrary to international law — under a humanitarian embargo from Turkey, troubled with inner Kurdish conflicts. 

"every day people die, every family has a member or relative who HAS dieD, every day there is another funeral. In some months we had to cope with 3,000 injured people."

Within this situation we were providing medical emergency aid and conducting paramedic education programs, and further to this we had plans to build up a proper water supply system and install improved rescue techniques. At the same time we were running around in Germany to collect money, which was very difficult. The situation in Syria was horrible: economically and ecologically destroyed, the war was a gruelling part of people’s everyday life - every day people die, every family has a member or relative who has died, every day there is another funeral. In some months we had to cope with 3,000 injured people. 

We were fighting the chaos, and equipment got broken and could not be fixed, medication was often not available — it was right what we were doing, but it felt like running against walls. And so, we thought, it would be a good thing to go out on sea where the mission to save lives appeared on first sight a bit, let’s say, clearer to fulfil. 

Did your expectation match the reality on sea? 

Well, good question. No, not really. The whole situation about saving lives of refugees is a systemic insanity. First of all, there is always the big question in the room: Why does the European continent, the EU, not offer better solutions to people who risk and often lose their lives? 

sea rescue dingi 3

What kind of political and economic system are we living in that looks aside when people go on boats with their little babies knowing the risk of dying while trying to find a better live? 

In 2016, on average, every single day 14 people died
in the Mediterranean Sea.

And, if you break that down to the situation on sea, how can it be that it’s mostly civil organisations, volunteers like us who do a significant part of the job to rescue people from dying on sea? 

And, why is it not just a large co-operatively working fleet of vessels that work smoothly together, but so many individual organisations trying do their best? 

sea recue dingi 1

It’s a lot of chaos out there, and we need an open debate what is happening on the Mediterranean Sea. There is Frontex, there are politicians and right-wing trolls who argue that rescuing people from drowning is a pulling in even more refugees. On the other hand, there are humanitarian enthusiasts who set out for help no matter what. 

"Sea rescue missions are an ugly plaster on the European wound of migration."

Is there any change in sight? 

sebastian jünemann sea rescue 2

Well, when Sea Watch started off sea rescue missions, they eventually had the idea to make themselves obsolete by persuading and pressuring politicians to create alternative solutions for refugees and migrants. However, the intention to achieve legal and safe passage for these people failed. 

So, if you ask me about the current state of sea rescue missions, I’d describe it as an ugly plaster on the European wound of migration. 

We have created a system where a range of civil organisations regularly have to go beyond their resources and capabilities to save as many lives as possible from dying in the Mediterranean. 

Support CADUS Sea Rescue Mission by donating to their betterplace campaign here.

Tell us bout CADUS’ particular experience with sea rescue missions. 

We undertook eight sea rescue missions in the Mediterranean Sea and six missions in the Aegean Sea. For us, 2016 was a very intense year, it was very difficult to build up our sea rescue missions. 

For 2017 we’re thinking about what we can do better, where should we allocate our resources best. Definitely we need to improve and put more focus on surveillance from the air. 

So, what are your plans the for your sea rescue mission in 2017? 

We will develop a new approach. Our intention is to achieve a better coordination between the different sea rescue missions. We don’t want a self standing mission but to join forces with other NGOs. We want to involve CADUS in a better surveillance from the air and work together with Sea Watch and HPI Humanitarian Pilots Initiative. 

sea rescue

Also, we want to focus on human rights violations coast by the coast guards off the Libyan shore in the Mediterranean. 

We still have an own vessel in the Aegean sea. We’re providing this to another organization. 

There is a betterplace campaign to raise funds for the mission, mainly for the maintenance of the ship. 

Do you see enough awareness in our societies? 

Unfortunately not. It’s still so far away from people’s every day life. For us nothing really changes, when I ask to someone in a club whether they know what’s happening on the Mediterranean Sea, most people have no idea. 

"What we actually should discuss is: What is Europe’s responsibility in this situation, in this crisis?"

The general debate is just scratching the surface. It’s about whether we create incentives for migrants when we rescue them, whereas what we should discuss is: What is Europe’s responsibility in this situation, in this crisis? Because we do have the means, to cope with these questions economically. 

For hundreds of years we have created our wealth and build up our economies on the back of countries, which are now the source for today’s migration. And we are actually still doing it. I think that is very unjust. 

We aren’t prepared for the future, are we? 


Currently, we are hardly coping with the symptoms of migration, we’re not even acknowledging the causes. According to the NASA we have the most severe drought since 900 years, you don’t even have to believe in climate change, this is just a fact. 

So, it’s a total illusion that migration will decrease. People simply have no choice, they have to leave, if they want to survive. So, we’re having wrong debates here. We should think about how these people can be integrated in our societies. 

"It's a total illusion that migration will decrease. People simply have no choice, they have to leave, if they want to survive."

Is there a political intention behind this? 

Well, let me put it this way: In 2016, when we had thousands of people in Berlin trying to register as refugees, people were in miserable conditions. However, here in Germany we have a superbly functioning disaster recovery. When hey find a left over bomb from WWII in Berlin, they can evacuate and accommodate thousands of people within hours. So, why couldn’t we do this with refugees? Even though we’ve done a lot here in Germany, it is politically intended to display a crisis. However, as a country, and even more as a union of more than 500 Million inhabitants we could do way better. 

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Providing Medical Aid Through a Mobile Hospital

FAIRPLANET: What is the current state of affairs in Syria and in Iraq?

SEBASTIAN JÜNEMANN: Our plan was to use our Mobile Hospital not only in Northern Iraq, but also in Syria. After the liberation of Mosul we first went to Tal Afar, then to Hawija, and right now we are in the province of Al-Anbar at the Iraqi-Syrian border area. The region is difficult to access, as it is surrounded by desert only. That might be the reason why it is considered one of the last retreats of the Islamic State (IS).
We were able to slightly improve our equipment in recent months. Among other things, we were able to rent armored cars.

Could you tell us some details about the CADUS work on the ground?

Actually, CADUS specializes in trauma patients, ie people who have been wounded either mentally or physically. However, there is currently a lack of ... well, of everything really – including primary health care.

And since we are the only ones providing medical help so close to the frontier and to the battlefields, we try to come up with primary health care in addition to the treatment of traumatized people. Otherwise nobody would.

All of our local helpers in the field in northern Iraq, which are currently between  5 and 15 men and women, work on a voluntary basis, only the long-term organizers on site get some fees. Some are only there for two weeks, others others stay with us for several weeks or months. Sometimes we treat up to 150 people a day. At some point our team will come to its limit, that's for sure. It's a really tough job in difficult conditions.

The situation on the ground, especially the political situation in Iraq and Syria, seems to be constantly changing. Has your strategy at CADUS changed in recent months as well?

We are operating just behind the front line, sometimes only a few hundred meters away. We are still the only NGO that dares to operate here. Nevertheless, it is important for us to keep a certain distance from the military, simply because we are a humanitarian organization. We cooperate with the military first and foremost in exchanging information, for example about the course of the front line and which streets have been cleared and which villages have been liberated. It was a different story in the fight for Mosul though, where the cooperation with the military was a lot closer, but that was due to the fact that there was sort of an urban warfare, with house-to-house fighting in downtown Mosul. And the threat of sleeper cells and snipers was much higher, so we tried to get as close as possible to checkpoints and military bases, just for safety reasons.

A few days ago, both Russian and Iraqi military authorities reported that the IS had been defeated. What's left behind, now that the IS is gone - the cities, the villages, the people too?

Well, the cities are largely destroyed; As far as the numbers of the dead and the injured and traumatized are concerned, I can not yet give precise numbers.

But the consequences of the war are devastating, that's for sure.

IS may be officially defeated, but there is still a risk of running into scattered IS groups who are still fighting or spreading fear and terror as snipers. When Mosul was liberated, a new front suddenly opened within the city and behind the actual front line, because a group of IS fighters had entrenched themselves in the city and opened fire.
Mines are another problem. We still can not move freely in the liberated areas, we have to rely on the Iraqi army to tell us which roads are cleared of mines and passable.

With all the different parties involved in Iraq – the IS, the Kurdish fighters, the Shiite militias, the Iraqi army, Turkey, in the background Russia, the United States, the United Nations. How does CADUS avoid being crushed between all the grindstones?

The situation on the ground is definitely complicated, you need a lot of patience and also a thick skin. At every checkpoint, of which there are a lot in northern Iraq, the question arises whether we have the right documents to pass. Again and again our onward journey gets delayed, because we have to call authorities and get new documents. That's very tiring at times, you have to be very patient. Of course: the local authorities are in charge at first; but eventually at one point it has to go on, after all, it's about humanitarian aid and sometimes every minute counts to save a human life.

During one of your missions this autumn, you were stopped and sent back by Turkey.

Yes, we were arrested by the Turkish authorities during a stop in Istanbul and then deported. For such a small NGO as CADUS, which finances itself exclusively through donations, it is severe to have to pay the flight costs twice. But Turkey plays a very opaque role in this conflict, I have to say. Erdogan classifies the Kurdish groups as terrorists. He has imposed an embargo on the region and also blocks NGOs from access. In addition, Turkish military intervenes with air strikes into the conflict - thereby violating the territorial sovereignty of both the Kurdish autonomous government, as well as the Iraqi state. Actually quite a scandal.

You already mentioned the importance of donations to CADUS. What does the current financial situation look like?

It's true, CADUS is 100% funded by donations. And unfortunately donations have declined in recent months. So far, we have not reached our target of 300,000 euros for the Mobile Hospital project. As of today, we have been able to collect about 280,000 euros, of which, however, a lot of money has already been used to cover operating costs.

In the end, we managed to get our truck 50% cheaper than actually planned, by DIY (do-it-yourself) work and again and again by improvisation.

What's next for CADUS?

Our goal was not only to provide immediate medical help, but also to ensure that local people can get their fate back into their own hands as quickly as possible. This includes a basic medical care.

The problem is that with our Mobile Hospital, we can not stay in one place long enough to be able to offer basic medical education. That's why we've come up with concepts for e-learning and telemedicine. We have developed an app with which you can download the respective content.

Does that work in a country whose infrastructure has been largely destroyed? Do people have internet access?

We have designed the app so that you can download the teaching material in portions, so for example, if you happen to have network coverage or Internet access at some point. The lessons can then be learned offline afterwards.

When will you start with that e-learning and telemedicine projects?

Basically the app is programmed and ready. We just need to get the contents translated into Arabic and Kurdish. That's not easy, because there's a big demand for translators at the moment. And if we do not find any volunteers, it's also a question of money – we assume about 50,000 euros, We still have to get the funding done.

Are there any more plans?

We would like to hand over our first Truck, our first Mobile Hospital, to a local NGO in northern Syria in the near future. But we still have to wait and see what the capacities a like then, including the knowledge of the local helpers.

Our second truck, the successor to our first Mobile Hospital, will soon be built in Berlin.

One last question: What does the name CADUS actually mean?

The name has two meanings. Firstly, Cadus refers to an old Roman wine vessel, so there is a relation to my roots in event management; but above all, the name derives from the Latin word carduus, which means thistle. The thistle is a plant that thrives where nothing else or anything else grows.

Sebastian, thank you for the interview.



Innovating the future of medical aid

It has been half a year since FAIRPLANET last spoke with Sebastian Jünemann, the founder of the Berlin-based non-profit aid organization CADUS, about the deployment of his organization in Iraq and Syria.

In the meantime, a lot has happened. The so-called 'Islamic State' is defeated; Turkey has invaded northern Syria and expelled the Kurdish population in favor of its Arab neighbors; in northern Iraq, the hopes of the Kurds for their own state have been thwarted, while in the rest of Iraq tensions between Sunni and Shiite populations are ever increasing; the US has withdrawn from much of the region that used to be their sphere of influence in recent years, thereby strengthening Russia and Iranian militia; and in southern Syria, new frontlines have been formed, with Israel as another active warring party.

Not easy to keep track here.

Therefore FAIRPLANET asked Sebastian Jünemann and CADUS for the current state of affairs.

FAIRPLANET: When we last spoke to you, Sebastian, CADUS was working in Mosul and in the Iraqi-Syrian border area. How is the situation half a year later?

JÜNEMANN: Well, we have finally crossed the border to Syria. And we have also handed over our truck, the Mobile Hospital, to a local charity, namely 'Heyvar Sor a Kurd', the Kurdish Red Crescent. We now moved into an abandoned hospital in Rakka, the former capital of the Islamic State.

About 250,000 people currently live in Rakka, although the city is about 70 percent destroyed, but there is only one hospital, which is also operated privately, so for the majority of the population it is not accessible since it is not for free.

Lack of blood preservation is a big problem, people would have to travel far too long to get to any blood preservation facility; That's why a blood bank here on the ground would be enormously helpful. The IS is no longer there, but still the security situation is dangerous, because the whole region is covered with non-defused booby traps left by the terrorist militia.

FAIRPLANET: Is the situation in Rakka comparable to that in Mosul half a year ago?

JÜNEMANN: A comparison is quite difficult. In Mosul, we were in the immediate vicinity of the front lines, much international military was present. In Rakka the fighting is over, the military has moved on, but the danger of mines and terrorist attacks has remained.

FAIRPLANET: Why did it take so long for you to move from northern Iraq across the border to Syria?

JÜNEMANN: The problem in situations where rebel groups challenge state sovereignty is that you can not find reliable contacts, since the infrastructure and the whole architecture of authority has collapsed; In fact, you have to stay in contact with all the groups involved, and that's not an easy task. Although Assad remains in power in Syria, he does not control the entire territory. So to ensure a safe border crossing, you must find out beforehand which groups need to be contacted. That can take a few months.

FAIRPLANET: How many employees does CADUS currently have in Rakka?

JÜNEMANN: Well, we opened our station in Rakka just a few weeks ago. And the CADUS strategy has always been to work together with local forces as much as possible. We also do that in Rakka. Some of our local employees are also based in Erbil and take care of administrative tasks there. At the moment we have about ten to fifteen employees in Rakka, which is about as many as we had in Mosul.

FAIRPLANET: What's next? Do you have plans already for further CADUS missions?

JÜNEMANN: We got a lot of praise and recognition for our truck, our 'Mobile Hospital', even though it was only a first attempt. And we learned a lot from it.

The next 'Mobile Hospital' we want to integrate into a shipping container, not in a truck.

We chose the truck back then, because many of these trucks were on site, and most of them were donated from other countries after they had been discarded there. Nevertheless, you always need someone who knows all about these trucks, for example, if a replacement part has to be installed in the event of a breakdown. And if no capable mechanic is available, you're stuck - and so is the whole mission.

This is different with a sea container, we hope. Such a shipping container has standardized dimensions, they are used all over the world. So should a truck break down that has loaded our container, we can simply load the container on another truck and continue driving. It can be transported by land or by water, which widens our range of action immensely.

FAIRPLANET: In Berlin, at the Holzmarkt, you have set up a so-called 'Crisis Response Market Place'. What's it all about?


The 'Crisis Response Market Place' basically is an area of approximately 200 square meters where we want to realize new ideas regarding our equipment.

For example, we want to realize the mentioned 'Mobile Hospital' in a sea container here. We want to assemble it here. But the idea goes beyond that. We want to develop equipment that will then be available to other organizations as a blueprint, ie without royalties or the like. We want to use a wide range of material and technologies, such as wood, metal, electrical appliances, 3D printing - much is conceivable. We called for other groups to provide their know-how. For example, we cooperate with the University of Applied Sciences and the Beuth University of Applied Sciences, both from Berlin. The Crisis Response Market Place is open to anyone wishing to contribute to humanitarian activities in war zones.

FAIRPLANET: Are you ready to reveal something about further projects that could arise there in the near future?

JÜNEMANN: We are thinking about emergency kits that could be dropped from air planes and that may contain medical equipment, but also food or water treatment equipment. We could drop them right from the air over the affected areas in the near future. This would make things a lot easier in remote regions, which would otherwise have little or no access to medical aid.

Such drops are not a new thing, they're actually quite popular when it comes to throwing off food, especially here in Berlin - remember "Luftbrücke" and "Rosinenbomber".

So far, such drops were limited to a load of about 70 kilograms. We want to expand the capacity to 80-120 kilograms. Therefore we cooperate with the Swiss Humanitarian Pilots Initiative ( First test drops are scheduled for August.

FAIRPLANET: That sounds promising…

JÜNEMANN: Another project we are currently working on is the certification of CADUS by the World Health Organization WHO. The WHO has learned from the past that the uncontrolled and unorganized use of many relief organizations is not effective. The example of Haiti in 2010 should not be repeated if possible. There, the chaos after the earthquake was in fact worsened by the many large and small aid organizations that came along. In the future, only WHO-certified emergency medical teams will be deployed with the necessary know-how.

FAIRPLANET: Sebastian Jünemann, thank you for the interview.

Photos: CADUS, Wikimedia

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