MSF in Afghanistan
October 19, 2009
Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) started working again in Afghanistan in 2009. The organisation’s return to the country – after five years – was motivated by the increasing number of signals that the overall situation for Afghans was getting worse rather than better. The country is becoming more insecure, and access to health services is problematic for large number of Afghans.
MSF is now working in Ahmed Shah Baba hospital on the eastern side of Kabul, which will be developed into a district hospital that provides a wide range of medical services, including emergency care. The hospital is located in an area that sees a rapid population expansion as people seek relative safety from the conflict and hope for work, as is the case for Kabul as a whole.
Soon, MSF will also boost the ailing hospital in Lashkargah, the capital of Helmand province in the very heart of the conflict. In the absence of staff and medicines, few people use it, despite the fact that it is one of only two remaining referral hospitals in the south of Afghanistan.
MSF left Afghanistan in June, 2004 after the brutal killing of five of its staff in Badghis province. At that time, many had hopes that Afghanistan was on its way to recovery thanks to a major international investment in development aid. Today, that hope has been crushed. The need for emergency medical assistance has once again become acute.
For its work in Afghanistan, MSF does not accept funding from any government. Instead, the organisation relies solely on donations from the public.