1969 Biafra: Fred works on improving drainage systems and food distribution systems in refugee camps. This is Fred's first major disaster relief effort and is when he decides to dedicate his life to global disaster relief. 1976 Guatemala: Fred goes to Guatemala in the wake of an earthquake that killed 23,000 people and left millions homeless. Fred helps develop ways to teach the native people better construction methods so they are self sufficient and can have safer homes in the future. 1985 Ethiopia: Hundreds of thousands of refugees migrated from Ethiopia to the Sudan because of the great famine. The refugee camps were disorganized and dangerous. Fred figured out a way to restructure the camps into concentric circles rather than a grid which allowed for people to reestablish their community structures. Cuny also provided food, seeds and supplies (in defiance of UN policy) which enabled people in the camps to return home in time for the planting season. Cuny's plan was successful and he was becoming a legend in the field. 1991 Iraq: After the Persian Gulf war, half a million Kurds fled Iraq for the mountains bordering Turkey. When they were not allowed into Turkey, a huge refugee crisis developed. Stuck in the mountains, with winter coming refugee camps began to spring up. When Fred arrived on the scene, he recognized the urgency of getting these people off the mountain and back to their homes as quickly as possible. Operation Provide Comfort was born. With the help of US and allied troops, Fred was able to form safe zones for people to migrate back to their homes. After only two months, every Kurd was safely back in their home. This was on of Fred's greatest triumphs and got him international recognition as a miracle worker. 1993 Bosnia: During the Bosnian Civil War water and gas lines into the city of Sarajevo had been cut off by the constant bombing. People would be shot down in the street when they ventured out of their house to get water. Fred Cuny arrived in Sarajevo and realized the first step to saving this city was finding a way to get safe water to its people. Fred designed and smuggled in a water treatment system that would use the ancient cisterns in the city to pump water into people's houses. The system was a success and was eventually credited to saving the city during the siege. 1995 Chechnya: Fred once again traveled to one of the most dangerous places in the world, Chechnya. The Chechen capital, Grozny, was full of civilians that needed to be evacuated, so Fred ventured to the"scariest place" he'd ever been. During Fred's second trip to Chechnya he, two Russian doctors, and their interpreter disappeared and were never heard from again. Though it is now assumed that they were captured by Chechen intelligence, mistaken as spies and executed, we may never know what truly happened to Fred Cuny and his team.
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Frederick C. Cuny 1944-1995