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A unique model

An alliance of local NGOs and research institutes

ALIMA, The Alliance for International Medical Action, was created 10 years ago, following three main concerns:

  • 50% of humanitarian needs are not covered: this is why our mission is to TREAT the most vulnerable people, living in situations of conflicts or disease outbreaks, where crises no longer allow governments and different health structures to operate.
  • Only 2% of clinical trials take place in Africa: our goal  is to INNOVATE through medical research, to find solutions in collaboration with international research institutes so that the same medical crises do not happen twice.
  • Only 0.5% of international funding goes directly to local NGOs. In order to change this, we have developed a new model, based on an alliance with local NGOs, TOGETHER.


This approach has proven its worth. Between 2009 and 2013, 13 million patients were treated in 14 countries, and 47 research projects were carried out by international and local teams.

For more efficient humanitarian action

Every Thursday from February 22, watch a new episode of our series “Stronger Together: For more effective humanitarian action”

A genuine alliance with local humanitarian medical NGOs

ALIMA has always advocated for humanitarian medical aid that fully integrates local players. Its model is based on systematic partnerships with ministries of health, and in some countries, on alliances with national NGOs. ALIMA’s model is different from others: we focus on a  win-win partnership, for adapted and effective humanitarian aid in complex situations. In five West and Central African countries—Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Niger, Mali and Chad— ALIMA has forged a strong alliance with local NGOs committed to the health of vulnerable communities. ALIMA is convinced that an effective humanitarian response requires, whenever possible, a solid partnership with these local organizations, built around co-management and co-responsibility in the construction, planning and implementation of projects.

In short, this means:

  • Working together, not subcontracting. Projects such as field assessment, project writing, implementation and evaluation of humanitarian projects, and more, are carried out hand-in-hand with Ministries of Health, local NGOs, and communitie
  • Sharing funding with local NGO partners, strengthening their organizational capacities and human resources so that they can better mobilize funding and carry out projects independently of ALIMA with international donors;
  • Dividing power through inclusive governance. We welcome contributions from local NGO representatives on the ALIMA Board of Directors, and local NGO representatives in each country to ALIMA strategy meetings in the same capacity as our mission leaders (co-management of missions at the highest level);
  • Responding to the local and international needs to redistribute humanitarian aid more fairly, for a more appropriate and effective response.
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“Partnership is a key element of ALIMA’s activities, particularly in the Sahel region. It is an innovative approach to pool skills and resources, but also to build the capacity of health workers and local communities. In addition, given the growing insecurity that limits access for humanitarian organizations in remote areas, partnering with local NGOs is one of the solutions to facilitate people’s access to health care.”

Dr. Oumarou Maidadji

Head of ALIMA Programs – Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Central African Republic

Former coordinator of the NGO BEFEN in Niger

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Innovation is our constant ambition

ALIMA integrates clinical and operational research projects with our humanitarian work to transform humanitarian medicine. By 2023, 28% of ALIMA’s activities will be devoted to research.

The aim is to bridge the gap between the humanitarians in the field, who innovate on a daily basis, and the world’s leading research institutions, which have the necessary scientific training. By driving collaboration between renowned researchers, healthcare professionals and local NGOs, ALIMA develops innovative solutions to improve the effectiveness of emergency medical interventions and influence the evolution of practices in our sector.

Since 2016, ALIMA and the INSERM1219 IDLIC (Infectious Diseases in Low Income Countries) team have been building the CORAL (Clinical and Operational Research Alliance) platform to combat existing and emerging health threats in Africa.

This platform integrates several teams from Inserm (Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale) and PAC-CI, a research site based in Côte d’Ivoire, set up by the Agence Nationale de Recherche sur le Sida et les Hépatites Virales (ANRS).

ALIMA also belongs to the ALERRT (African Coalition for Epidemic Research, Response and Training) consortium, made up of 20 European and African universities.

In addition, ALIMA has been collaborating regularly since 2015 with the NIH (National Institutes of Health).

See all our partners