Los Angeles, September 22, 2016 --- Santa Monica resident and Los Angeles Region Red Cross volunteer Stephen McAndrew, who served as Head of Ebola Operations for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), was today presented with an a Member of the British Empire medal by the British Consul General Chris O’Conner for overseeing humanitarian services during the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone.
McAndrew’s work in Sierra Leone involved leading a team of over 300 international staff and 3,000 volunteers to respond to the biggest Ebola outbreak to ever take place.
“The Ebola response operation should give all us hope and inspiration, that the world still can work together, to focus and solve problems when faced with a serious challenge,” said McAndrew. “I accept this recognition on behalf of all the Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers and staff who answered the call for help from all over the world and right in their own affected communities and villages to stop Ebola.”
In partnership with the Sierra Leone Red Cross, the IFRC operation played a crucial role in bringing the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone to an end. The IFRC opened two Ebola treatment centers in Kenema and Kono, provided community education, tracing and psychosocial support services, and mobilized over 500 safe and dignified burial team members for the deceased. The United Kingdom government supported the Ebola assistance efforts in Sierra Leone.
McAndrew’s career in emergency relief, which began as a U.S. Peace Corp volunteer in Central America in 1995, helped prepare him to lead some of the IFRC’s biggest humanitarian responses in recent years including the Haiti earthquake, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, and the Nepal earthquake. Originally from Philadelphia, McAndrew recently returned from Greece, where he was overseeing the IFRC’s response operation to assist refugees with medical services, food, water, blankets, relief supplies, information and support with restoring family links.