If warring parties see aid organisations as being on one side of a conflict, we are less likely to gain access to those in need and more likely to be attacked.
One of the ways in which we are able to demonstrate our independence to warring parties is to ensure that all our funding for work in conflicts comes from private individuals – we do not accept government grants.
Conflicts, be they international wars or those within countries, can have many consequences.
Fear of violence or persecution uproots entire communities and disrupts access to medical care for those that flee as well as those who stay behind.
Conflicts normally lead to a rise in trauma injuries, but also lead to problems for people needing normal medical care, such as for complications with pregnancy or chronic diseases such as diabetes.
Psychological distress and mental illnesses also generally rise, as can cases of sexual violence.
We try to fill these gaps with highly experienced doctors, nurses, and logisticians, who provide specialised medical care and logistical support.
MSF has been working in Kanyaruchinya since last July, supporting the centre to enable the provision of free and quality healthcare to displaced people, people displaced by the volcanic eruption, and all the inhabitants of the area.
Following an outbreak of violence in the provinces of Mai-Ndombe and Kwilu in August, MSF head of mission Alessandra Giudiceandrea spent several weeks in the region as part of MSF’s emergency response. She describes her shock at witnessing the aftermath of the violence, her frustration at the difficulties of mobilising other humanitarian organisations, and her unease at the security-based approach to resolving this crisis.
MSF calls on all warring groups to provide assurances of safety for humanitarian access to enable organisations to deliver medical services and distribute aid to prevent more deaths and suffering of innocent civilians.
As the situation in the Greater Mundri has stabilised, MSF has now handed over its activities to the Ministry of Health
Flashquote attributable to Ms Paula Gil, President of MSF Spain
Many people in Afar cannot access the very minimum levels of healthcare, food and water necessary to sustain human life
MSF teams are seeing a spectrum of mental health problems in people as a result of the war
People are living in very precarious conditions, with no proper shelter, limited access to clean water and lack of food