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War and conflict 

In war zones, MSF does not take sides. We provide medical care based on needs alone and work hard to try and reach the people who need help the most. 

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. 

12/05/2021

Responding to emergencies amid the conflict in CAR

Since late December, the situation in Central African Republic (CAR) has quickly worsened, as clashes between a coalition of non-state armed groups and government forces supported by foreign troops, which began amid contested elections, have escalated. In response, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) have deployed emergency teams across the country to assist people affected by the violence who live in constant fear of attack by all sides. This is what our teams found in Bossembélé, Grimari and Ippy, three areas hit by the conflict

04/05/2021

Ethiopia: People in rural Tigray hit by impact of crisis and humanitarian neglect

Many of Tigray’s six million people live in mountainous and rural areas where they are all but invisible to the outside world. While teams of aid workers have been deployed to the main cities of this northern Ethiopian region over recent months, aid is failing to reach more remote communities, where the impact of the conflict has often been severe. Many people have been unable to access healthcare and other basic services for the past six months and are still living in fear.

04/05/2021

Burkina Faso: providing healthcare in a region ravaged by violence

Burkina Faso’s North region hosts more than 100,000 internally displaced people who fled recurring violence in this part of the country. Since January 2021, MSF’s mobile teams have been offering healthcare support to people in the villages of Sirfou, Todiame, Rounga and Ouindigui, where thousands of these displaced persons have settled, but where access to healthcare and other basic services is severely limited.

20/04/2021

Ethiopia: “I turned around and started running and that is when I was shot”

Survivors describe being shot by soldiers in Adwa, Tigray  on April 12, 2021

Célestin poses for an anonymous portrait at the Tongolo centre on 27th November 2020.
13/04/2021

CAR: Healing the visible and invisible wounds of sexual violence

Sexual violence has become a public health issue in Central African Republic (CAR) over the past decade, with women and minors being the most affected groups. In a country marked by years of civil war and facing a long-term crisis, assaults are perpetrated not just by members of armed groups; often the assault is committed by someone known to the victim. While access to medical and psychological care has improved over the years, the response remains insufficient compared to the scale of the needs.

People displaced by violent attacks in Palma who fled into Pemba housed at the stadium
07/04/2021

Mozambique: “People ran into the bush to save their lives”

Amparo Vilasmil is MSF mental health activity manager in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. She is part of a team operating in Montepuez, the second most populous city in the province and one of the destinations for people fleeing recent attacks in the coastal town of Palma.

Administrators register newly arrived displaced people at Tsegay Berhe
26/03/2021

Ethiopia: Tigray’s cities fill with displaced people fleeing insecurity and in need of aid

In recent weeks, tens of thousands of displaced people have arrived in cities in the conflict-hit region of Tigray, northern Ethiopia. They join others who arrived earlier and are staying in schools and empty buildings, in poor conditions and without basic services. Many have already been displaced multiple times since November.

 

Displaced people wait at Tsegay Berhe school, in the city of Adwa in central Tigray.
26/03/2021

“It’s a powder keg waiting to explode”

Before March, Shire in Ethiopia’s North-West region of Tigray already hosted a large number of people who have been displaced by the conflict. Many live with the host community, while about 17,000 lived in three informal IDP sites. In the past few weeks, there has been a massive influx of new arrivals in Shire, where the situation was already dire.

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Ethiopia: Tigray Crisis

People have been left without healthcare and tens of thousands have been displaced across Ethiopia and Sudan, following fighting that broke out in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia, in November 2020.

MSF teams are working on both sides of the border, providing assistance to people in refugees camps in Sudan, and to the displaced and host communities within Tigray in Ethiopia.

 Find out more  

War and conflict 

In war zones, MSF does not take sides. We provide medical care based on needs alone and work hard to try and reach the people who need help the most. 

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.