Kesako - missions

Timeline created by dpuretz
  • FIRST LARGE-SCALE INTERVENTION IN REFUGEE CAMPS IN THAILAND

    FIRST LARGE-SCALE INTERVENTION IN REFUGEE CAMPS IN THAILAND
    As tens of thousands of Cambodians had fled the Khmer Rouge regime of Pol Pot, MSF arrived to provide care to people living in makeshift camps on the Thai border. Over the years, this mission became MSF’s first large-scale intervention in a refugee crisis and, as the mission highlighted the weaknesses of the Association in the field, marked a decisive turning point in MSF’s history.
  • FIRST WAR SURGERY MISSION IN LEBANON

    FIRST WAR SURGERY MISSION IN LEBANON
    This was MSF’s first war surgery mission. In Beirut, within a state of permanent insecurity – amidst attacks on civilians and where even hospitals were not spared by the bombing – medical teams took care of thousands of wounded people, Christian and Muslim alike, and experienced the importance of neutrality.
  • CLANDESTINE OPERATIONS IN AFGHANISTAN

    CLANDESTINE OPERATIONS IN AFGHANISTAN
    The invasion of the Afghan kingdom by the Soviet army caused a massive influx of refugees into Pakistan, which banned any foreign presence in the camps. Thus embarking on clandestine operations, MSF crossed the border and decided to take action in rescuing isolated civilian populations in the high Afghan valleys.
  • DENUNCIATION OF THE MISAPPROPRIATION OF AID DURING THE FOOD CRISIS IN ETHIOPIA

    DENUNCIATION OF THE MISAPPROPRIATION OF AID DURING THE FOOD CRISIS IN ETHIOPIA
    In Ethiopia, MSF was fighting malnutrition in areas hit by the drought. The organization denounced the regime’s misappropriation of international humanitarian aid, forcing starving people into camps in deserted and malaria-infested provinces in the South of the country. Displacing them in this way resulted in the death of over 100,000 Ethiopians. MSF’s stance caused a scandal that resulted in its expulsion from the country.
  • AID FOR EXILED CIVILIANS TRAPPED IN IRAQI KURDISTAN

    AID FOR EXILED CIVILIANS TRAPPED IN IRAQI KURDISTAN
    Invited to speak at the headquarters of the UN in New York, MSF claimed the right for humanitarian organizations to have access to exiled Kurdish people. MSF launched a major aid operation characterized by remarkable cohesion between its sections. It provided assistance to tens of thousands exhausted, starving and freezing civilians who had fled from the repression of Saddam Hussein’s troops to the mountains of Northern Iraq and whose survival was entirely dependent on international solidarity.
  • WITHDRAWAL FROM SOMALIA FOLLOWING A MILITARY-HUMANITARIAN INTERVENTION BY THE UNITED STATES AND THE UNITED NATIONS

    WITHDRAWAL FROM SOMALIA FOLLOWING A MILITARY-HUMANITARIAN INTERVENTION BY THE UNITED STATES AND THE UNITED NATIONS
    Somalia imploded after its president was removed from power. The fighting was incessant and attacks on food convoys became commonplace as famine spread. The United Nations and the US Government embarked on a military-humanitarian operation in response to the violence, which only worsened the chaos. MSF France, which had been working in Somalia for two years treating victims of the conflict, decided to withdraw from the country rather than being associated or confused with military forces.
  • POWERLESSNESS IN THE FACE OF THE GENOCIDE IN RWANDA

    POWERLESSNESS IN THE FACE OF THE GENOCIDE IN RWANDA
    MSF found itself confronted with a massacre. Following the attack on the Rwandan President’s aircraft, the capital Kigali barricaded itself and Hutu militias began the systematic extermination of Tutsis and their supporters. In three months, over 800,000 people were killed. MSF took the unprecedented decision to call for an international military intervention, described the killings as a genocide and publicly held the French Government accountable for supporting the interim regime in Rwanda.
  • WITHDRAWAL FROM REFUGEE CAMPS RUN BY THE PERPETRATORS OF THE GENOCIDE

    WITHDRAWAL FROM REFUGEE CAMPS RUN BY THE PERPETRATORS OF THE GENOCIDE
    Hundreds of thousands of Rwandans fled to Zaire. The heat, lack of food and water, and simultaneous cholera and dysentery epidemics led to the death of tens of thousands of refugees in camps that were then controlled by the Rwandan militias who were also responsible for the genocide. The international community did nothing to separate the victims from their killers, despite MSF’s plea, and ultimately one section after another, MSF left the camps.
  • INTERVENTION IN THE BESIEGED ENCLAVES IN BOSNIA

    INTERVENTION IN THE BESIEGED ENCLAVES IN BOSNIA
    MSF provided medical, surgical and logistical assistance to the Bosnian people living in enclaves—which were considered open-air prisons and were almost impossible to access. The international community’s abandonment of the Srebrenica “safe area” resulted in ethnic cleansing, with the massacre of over 7,000 people, the majority of which were Muslims, and in the deportation of tens of thousands of others by Serbian troops.
  • ACCESS PROHIBITED AND EXTREME VIOLENCE TOWARDS HUMANITARIAN WORKERS

    ACCESS PROHIBITED AND EXTREME VIOLENCE TOWARDS HUMANITARIAN WORKERS
    MSF provided medical assistance to civilians affected by the war and living in precarious conditions while Russia controlled most of Chechnya. Villages were reduced to ashes while civilian populations were pushed back to the Caucasus Mountains and massacred. A series of attacks and the murder of humanitarian workers prompted MSF to gradually shut down its programs and leave the country.
  • INTRODUCTION OF ANTIRETROVIRALS IN MALAWI

    INTRODUCTION OF ANTIRETROVIRALS IN MALAWI
    The arrival of tritherapy in the West emphasized the inequalities in HIV/AIDS, which continued to wreak havoc: 90% of medicine was in the North, and 90% of patients were in the South. MSF found this unacceptable and began to introduce antiretroviral treatments in its programs, so that the most disadvantaged could benefit from them. MSF also wanted to demonstrate that these drugs could be easily administered in environments with limited resources and inadequate health care and infrastructure.
  • ABSENCE OF HUMANITARIAN SPACE DURING THE WAR IN IRAQ

    ABSENCE OF HUMANITARIAN SPACE DURING THE WAR IN IRAQ
    When the war broke out in Iraq, MSF publicly questioned the US Government’s failure to fulfill its responsibility to provide adequate assistance as an occupying power. The medical teams wanted to create a humanitarian space to be able to support the wounded and other victims of the conflict in Baghdad and in the rest of the country, targeted by massive bombardments. The war would later lead to the launch of the reconstructive surgery project in Amman, Jordan.
  • MASS DISTRIBUTION TO DISPLACED PEOPLE IN DARFUR

    MASS DISTRIBUTION TO DISPLACED PEOPLE IN DARFUR
    In Darfur, a region in Western Sudan, the conflict opposing the Sudanese Government from Khartoum and rebel movements, led to the extermination of large portions of the population. Hundreds of thousands of people fled from the massacres and the scorched earth policy perpetrated by pro-government forces and gathered in the huge camps where MSF was working. The mission to provide nutritional, medical and hygiene support was one of the biggest undertaken by the organization up to that point.
  • EMERGENCY AID IN RESPONSE TO THE TSUNAMI IN SOUTH-EAST ASIA

    EMERGENCY AID IN RESPONSE TO THE TSUNAMI IN SOUTH-EAST ASIA
    A powerful earthquake caused a tsunami that hit the coasts of the Indian Ocean. Northern Sumatra in Indonesia, Phuket in Thailand and Sri Lanka were particularly affected by the tidal wave, which affected over 220,000 victims. Three days after the disaster, MSF sparked controversy by suspending fundraising for the emergency, because the millions received were more than the relief operations planned and the responsibility to rebuild the affected countries fell to national Governments, not to MSF.
  • INTRODUCTION OF NEW THERAPEUTIC FOOD IN NIGER

    INTRODUCTION OF NEW THERAPEUTIC FOOD IN NIGER
    Adding prevention to its actions, MSF opened new outpatient nutrition centers in Niger to respond to the needs of people, particularly children, suffering from severe malnutrition. In one year, MSF managed to treat tens of thousands of malnourished children in Niger thanks to a new, ready-to-use therapeutic food called Plumpy’Nut®. This was the first time MSF used this innovative approach on such a large scale.
  • RECURRENT EMERGENCIES IN HAITI

    RECURRENT EMERGENCIES IN HAITI
    An earthquake of magnitude 7.3 hit Haiti. Within the first few hours, MSF teams already present in the country treated people who had been seriously injured, deployed equipment and provided medical assistance to victims. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed, injured or left homeless by the disaster. The earthquake was followed by another emergency, cholera, just a few months later. MSF provided care to over 100,000 patients during the epidemic.
  • CLANDESTINE OPERATIONS DURING THE CONFLICT IN SYRIA

    CLANDESTINE OPERATIONS DURING THE CONFLICT IN SYRIA
    When the civil war broke out in Syria following the demonstrations by opponents suppressed by Bashar al-Assad’s regime, the latter persecuted the injured demonstrators even into health care facilities. Secret networks of doctors sprang up but lacked resources. Since it was not authorized to intervene officially in Syria, MSF entered the country in secret and ensured that health care facilities were supplied with drugs and training, before opening hospitals in the North of the country.
  • EBOLA: AN UNPRECEDENTED EPIDEMIC IN WEST AFRICA

    EBOLA: AN UNPRECEDENTED EPIDEMIC IN WEST AFRICA
    When Guinea had its first suspected cases, MSF began efforts to take care of patients and limit the spread with medical isolation facilities. This was the start of a harrowing year, with numerous challenges in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. With over 27,000 cases and 11,000 deaths, this Ebola epidemic was the largest recorded since 1976. The unparalleled scale of the epidemic launched an internal debate and forced MSF to face its limitations in caring for patients with hemorrhagic fevers.
  • US AIRSTRIKES DESTROY MSF TRAUMA HOSPITAL IN KUNDUZ, AFGHANISTAN

    US AIRSTRIKES DESTROY MSF TRAUMA HOSPITAL IN KUNDUZ, AFGHANISTAN
    After a month of increased fighting between government and opposition forces, on October 3 the MSF hospital treating hundreds of wounded patients, came under precise and repeated airstrikes. The attack lasted around an hour, during which our teams desperately called military authorities to stop the attack. In the days after, the US military eventually claimed responsibility, alleging it had been an accident. MSF called for an independent investigation and launched its Not a Target campaign.