Skip to main content

Newsletter block in header

prev
next

Languages

You are here

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. 

Embedded thumbnail for Highlights from our work - July 2020
24/07/2020

Highlights from our work - July 2020

From responding to COVID-19 in our projects to treating malaria in Sierra Leone, watch some highlights from our work this year. 
16/07/2020

Burkina Faso: Living conditions worsen for displaced people as violence escalates and rainy season begins

The number of displaced people seeking safety in Burkina Faso’s Centre-North region has almost doubled in six months to 386,000 as a result of growing insecurity and violence. Many have no option but to stay in improvised shelters in remote areas, without basic services and exposed to the elements.

02/07/2020

Pieri violence: “I knew we had to prepare for the worst”

Istifanus Chindong Damulak, MSF Medical Team Leader in Lankien, South Sudan, gives a personal account of the violence in and around Pieri this May, that killed over 200 people – including an MSF staff member – and left a further 300 wounded.

An MSF team talks to a group of men in Dar Zaghawa, in North Darfur state
30/06/2020

Sandstorms, Donkeys and Tobacco

After 13 years of work in Tawila, a focal point of the Darfur conflict in Sudan, MSF has handed over medical activities to local authorities. This town suffered attacks that forced people to flee and hosted waves of displaced populations escaping violence.

A view of the PoC site in Pibor © MSF
24/06/2020

Intense fighting in eastern South Sudan, once again, forces thousands of people to flee

A new and brutal rise in intercommunal clashes in the Greater Pibor Administrative area yet again threatens the lives of entire communities. 

COVID-19 treatment center in Drouillard, Cité Soleil, at the Grands Brûlés hospital © Lunos Saint Brave/MSF
10/06/2020

Medecins Sans Frontieres raises an alert over the alarming spread of COVID-19 in Haiti

Health structures in Haiti are being destabilized by the pandemic, and the country faces a lack of tests and supplies due to the global lockdown

Hassan, a 17-year-old refugee from Darfur, Sudan arrived in Libya one year ago.
08/06/2020

COVID-19 lays bare failed politics of aid to help migrants stranded in Libya

Escalating armed conflict, increased indiscriminate attacks on civilians and the arrival of COVID-19 to a country with a collapsing healthcare system is creating a crisis within a crisis and could ultimately become a humanitarian catastrophe writes Sacha Petiot, Head of Mission in Libya. 

Displaced families live in makeshift shelters in Fada, Eastern Burkina Faso.
05/06/2020

Eastern Burkina Faso: Out of sight, people suffer from unprecedented rise in violence

The fight against COVID-19 is just one of many priorities in Eastern Burkina Faso and should not divert resources from other life-saving interventions highlights Abdalla Hussein, MSF Head of Mission. 

Pages

COVID-19 Coronavirus

Most of the world's countries have reported cases of coronavirus disease COVID-19 and MSF teams in over 70 countries are now racing to respond to the pandemic.  

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.