In March and April 2015, a wave of xenophobic violence spread across South Africa’s KwaZulu Natal province, killing seven people and injuring many more. Around 7,000 foreign nationals—from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe—were displaced from their homes, forced to live in displaced persons camps on the outskirts of Durban.
Since the violence began, many have left the camps and returned to their countries of origin. But the Burundians and Congolese are trapped, unable to return to their countries because of war and afraid to stay due to violence. While living in the camps, they are excluded from health care, and receive little protection from authorities.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is providing medical assistance to those who remain stuck in the camps. MSF teams are also providing mental health services to those traumatized by the violence and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.