El American’s Chief Correspondent Anna Paulina Luna spoke exclusively with Global Surgical and Medical Support Group (GSMSG) President Dr. Aaron Epstein to discuss his team’s humanitarian mission in Afghanistan and around the world.
The nonprofit organization Epstein chairs, GSMSG, is dedicated to providing medical assistance to communities in conflict zones, austere environments and disaster areas around the world.
Aaron Epstein, who regrets the manner in which the withdrawal from Afghanistan was carried out, comments that there are still thousands of Afghan citizens who collaborated for years with the U.S. who have been “left behind” after the evacuation. “I think that is, not only a humanitarian disaster, but I think a diplomatic and political disaster as well,” he said.
The doctor explained that, although his organization is not politically affiliated or funded by government funds, “a way to generate very significant good will towards the US” and he believes it is a good way to represent the country to the world. “It’s a very efficient way to provide that benefit to the US,” he added.
For Epstein, just as his organization indirectly represents the values of the United States, it would be a “huge multiplyer of their requirements and their objectives” if the U.S. government were to support GSMSG’s efforts.
Epstein’s team has just returned from a humanitarian mission to the Venezuela-Colombia border, where they treated nearly 3,000 Venezuelan refugees and provided health support to the indigenous population in that area, and are now looking to expand their services in Latin America.
“Besides just fleeing the chaos in Venezuela, there’s a lot of that population that is more or less stuck working in the illicit gold mines there and they desperatedly need medical care as well,” says Aaron Epstein.
GSMSG offers all types of medical services and specialist assistance, and today has more than 1,500 volunteers. They conduct supply drives, mostly of financial resources, to be able to assist repatriated families, refugees and victims of conflict around the world.