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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. 

View of the Central Mosque in Elevage from a classroom that is now home to 3 families
14/10/2021

“My dream is to find a place where we can settle forever”

For close to 20 years, people in the Central African Republic have been suffering from the devastating impact of continuous violence: massive and repeated displacements and atrocities, extremely limited access to essential services, alarming health indicators, repeated reduction of humanitarian access.

Cooking area at Ortese Camp, Benue State © Ghada Safaan/MSF
13/09/2021

“People are suffering”: Displacement continues, leaving hundreds of thousands exposed in Benue State of Nigeria

Persistent and increased violence in the Middle Belt of Nigeria is causing new waves of displacement into informal camps where services and support are non-existent. The newly displaced population is in urgent need of shelter, WASH services, vaccination, and protection. 

MSF surgical teams perform an operation on a patient injured by the fighting in Kunduz
09/09/2021

Medical care in Kunduz, Afghanistan: Making it work

Fighting in the city of Kunduz in north-eastern Afghanistan ended on 8 August. During the clashes, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) transformed its office space into a temporary trauma unit to treat the people wounded. That unit is now closed and on 16 August all patients were transferred to the nearly-finished Kunduz Trauma Centre that MSF had been building since 2018. The local community still requires trauma care.
A medic in MSF’s Kunduz team describes their experience during the fighting and the work that is going on today.

19/08/2021

Central African Republic: As conflict hits the countryside, people suffer from displacement and lack of access to healthcare

Since December 2020, there has been a resurgence in the conflict between government forces and armed groups in the Central African Republic (CAR). In recent months the situation has become extremely volatile in many rural areas across the country. Insecurity caused by the fighting and fear of attacks have forced many to flee towards larger towns. The violence has also severely impacted the ability of organisations to provide healthcare.

13/08/2021

Afghanistan: Injuries and displacement soar as violence spreads around the country

Violence is severely exacerbating people’s access to care. In areas with heavy fighting it is too dangerous for people to leave their homes for medical treatment, or they delay until they are very sick.

11/08/2021

“We are all afraid”: Settler attacks against Palestinians in Hebron on the rise in 2021

Harassment, threats and physical violence from Israeli settlers are a daily reality for many Palestinians living in the West Bank.

19/07/2021

South Africa Unrest: Crucial to safeguard people’s access to healthcare, healthcare workers and medical supplies as social unrest deepens

MSF is therefore calling on community leaders, political leaders, the South African government security cluster and the Presidency of South Africa to take immediate steps to safeguard the right to healthcare and safety of patients, healthcare workers, medical infrastructure and supplies to avert a drastic escalation of the current COVID-19 driven healthcare crisis.

18/07/2021

Correcting misinformation about the killings of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) staff in Tigray (Ethiopia)

MSF is still unclear on the details of what happened or who is behind this terrible act. Erroneous reporting can put both our patients and staff in serious and immediate danger.

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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.