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Libya: Latest MSF Updates

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This is an extract from MSF's 2014 International Activity Report:

Renewed fighting erupted in the spring of 2014, forcing thousands of people from their homes. Chaos and insecurity severely hampered assessments and the delivery of aid throughout the year.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) opened a mental health center in Tripoli in 2013 to provide medical and psychological support to people suffering from physical and mental health problems related to previous conflicts. MSF’s team in Tripoli was temporarily evacuated in July due to the volatile situation in the city. Staff returned in October but due to the deterioration of the security situation, MSF was unable to continue the project and it was closed in December.

Violence and unrest were still widespread at the end of the year. Many health workers fled and health facilities experienced shortages of supplies and drugs. Insecurity prevented access to many areas, particularly in the east, where there were high numbers of casualties. MSF provided assistance to Tripoli, Zawiyah, Yefren, Zuwara, and Jaddu through donations of drugs and medical materials, including kits to treat war-wounded.

The crisis in Libya has funneled thousands of people through to Europe, with 90 percent departing from its coast. People working in Libya or using its coastline as a jumping-off point to reach Europe are especially vulnerable to its instability. In Zuwara and the surrounding area on the northern coast, where the majority of boats heading for Europe leave from, MSF donated hygiene materials such as chlorine, masks, and protective gloves to the local crisis committee to help cope with the number of bodies washing up on the shore.


At the end of 2014, MSF had 71 staff in Libya. MSF began work in Libya in 2011.

Patient Stories

Abdul, 13 years old

Abdul suffered second-degree burns after a bottle of benzene caught fire when bombs hit the house next to his. Three days after receiving care in a Misrata clinic, he was evacuated to a Tunisian hospital. Ten days later, he could open his eyes again.

Ali, 45 years old

Ali had been diabetic for many years. During the fighting, he was unable to receive his treatment as Misrata hospital was overwhelmed with so many seriously injured patients that it could no longer care for the chronically ill. The interruption to Ali’s treatment caused skin lesions to appear on his feet. After his evacuation from Misrata, Ali had two toes and the front of one foot amputated.

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