The Reach of War: A Day in the Life of the Syrian Conflict

In late 2013, MSF sent teams to MSF projects in Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan on the same day to record the work we are doing with Syrians, to experience the situation through the eyes of staff members trying to provide desperately needed assistance. The goal was to chronicle “a day in the life” of this brutal, relentless conflict, to collect imagery and narratives that might foster a deeper understanding of the reach of this war. More at

As the bitter conflict in Syria continues, people are suffering immensely, not only from the direct consequences of war but also from having to leave their homes and belongings, and having their regular lives and medical treatments interrupted.
According to recent estimates, more than 120,000 people had been killed through the end of 2013 and more than six million have either been displaced within Syria or driven out of the country.
MSF has established programs inside Syria and in neighboring countries to tend to those affected. Below is an overview of MSF's activities related to the war in Syria:


An overview of MSF's Syria programs, as excerpted from MSF-USA's 2012 Annual Report:

As conflict intensified and medical needs mushroomed in 2012, MSF continued to petition Syria’s government for permission to provide impartial medical assistance on all sides of the conflict.

When its entreaties failed, MSF began working in opposition-held areas, setting up a 15-bed trauma surgery in Idlib that conducted 665 surgical procedures and provided emergency treatment to 2,230 patients; another hospital in Idlib—first in a cave, then on a converted farm—that treated more than 7,200 patients; and a third in Aleppo governorate that treats war-wounded patients and offers obstetric and other forms of emergency care, as well as basic health services, and where staff performed 70 surgical procedures each month.

As the year progressed, MSF expanded its activities to basic health care, vaccinations, and maternal care. In the Deir Ezzor area, MSF also helped patients with chronic illnesses whose treatment had been interrupted, and the organization donated tons of medicines and medical supplies to health facilities in Aleppo, Homs, Idlib, Hama, Deraa, and Damascus governorates. This included a large donation of medical supplies and relief items to the Syrian Arab Red Crescent in Damascus.

At year’s end, MSF was still lobbying the government for official permission to work in the country. Teams in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey were also providing care to some of the hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees who had fled to those countries.

At the end of 2012, MSF had 123 staff working in Syria. MSF first began working in the country in 1999.

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