MSF treats High Numbers of Victims of Violence in Morocco

July 28, 2012

MSF treats High Numbers of Victims of Violence in Morocco © Anna Surinyach

In the last month MSF teams have treated high numbers of victims of violence in Morocco´s Oriental Region. This region is home to many hundreds of sub-Saharan African migrants who are en route to Europe. MSF has worked with this vulnerable population since 2003 and focuses on increasing access to healthcare, improving living conditions and ensuring dignity.

Every summer, as weather conditions improve, the numbers of migrants trying to make the dangerous journey by sea to mainland Spain or climb the fences surrounding Melilla increases. In the last month, however, MSF teams have noticed high numbers of people seeking medical help as a result of violence.

“During our last mobile clinic in Nador in June, the MSF team carried out 200 consultations. 22% of which were for injuries related to violence,” explains MSF Head of Mission, David Cantero. “Many of the people we have treated tell us that their injuries are a result of being beaten by security forces during attempts to cross into Spain. MSF teams have also treated a number of people who have been injured when fleeing arrest during ongoing, daily raids in the region.”

Since then, MSF teams have received 12 emergency calls from migrants living in Nador and referred 34 people to Al Hassani hospital. Between 25 June and 16 July MSF staff in Oujda assisted 165 victims of violence, including 81 injured people who were transported to Oujda following mass arrests in Nador on 11 July.

MSF in Morocco

MSF has worked in Morocco since 1997. Since 2003 the organisation has worked with sub-Saharan migrants, a vulnerable population with specific medical and humanitarian needs related to their living conditions and irregular administrative situation. MSF currently has two projects in Morocco. In Rabat, the country’s capital city, MSF teams provide medical and psychological care to migrant victims of sexual violence. In Oriental Region, which borders Algeria, MSF works to ensure migrants have access to medical care in public health facilities in the city of Oujda. MSF teams also provide psychological care, distribute basic shelter materials, hygiene and cooking kits and carry out water and sanitation activities. In the same region, MSF teams provide primary healthcare and psychological support during monthly mobile clinics in Nador.

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