December 16, 2016

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams are coordinating on the ground to provide support and assistance to people who have been evacuated from East Aleppo. As a first step, medical and logistical teams conducted needs assessments in the region.

MSF also sent medicines and other medical supplies to a hospital in Aqrabat that is receiving wounded people who were evacuated from East Aleppo. The hospital is roughly six kilometers away from Atmah, where MSF’s warehouse is located.

In addition to the 45 tons of medical supplies MSF has prepositioned to send where it's needed, another 700 kits of non-food items (NFIs) are already in Atmah and another 1,000 kits are being prepared.

Today, three MSF teams were visiting Sarmada and Al Atareb to assess the situation of evacuees and any other new internally displaced people in order to identify needs for primary health care, food shelter, and NFI distributions.

Medical staff in contact with MSF reported that people were arriving in precarious condition after five months under siege in East Aleppo.

Doctors supported by MSF inside East Aleppo reported that they were safe for the time being and taking part on the evacuation of the wounded and ill.

Thus far, some evacuees have said to MSF personnel that they are relieved to be safe and to have access to health care and medicines they lacked for months, since the siege started in July. It is foreseen that urgent and complex cases will be sent to Turkey for specialized treatment.

Thousands of civilians are still waiting to leave East Aleppo. The evacuation is expected to take several days, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), but it was suspended today after buses carrying civilians were shot at in Alrashdeen and had to turn back to East Aleppo.

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