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Just a few weeks after opening its doors for the first time on August 4, the maternity unit in Domeez refugee camp, in northern Iraqi Kurdistan, is crowded with Syrian women, many of them mothers of newborns or mothers-to-be. All have chosen to take advantage of a range of maternity services—from antenatal check-ups to postnatal vaccinations—provided by staff who are themselves refugees.

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Life During Wartime

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Following heavy fighting between Islamic State forces and Kurdish forces in Sinjar in northwestern Iraq, as well as in other areas west of Kurdistan, more than 200,000 people are reported to have fled the area. Many Iraqis fleeing their homes have now moved into Kurdistan, where authorities have opened their borders to them. MSF has been working in Kurdistan for two years and is trying to respond to the needs of people forced to flee their homes, some experiencing displacement for the second or third time.

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In the eleven days after militants from the Islamic State (IS) group stormed the district of Sinjar in Iraq’s Ninewa governorate, a constant stream of thousands of exhausted people has been flowing into Syria. They are heading to the relative safety of the northern border between Syria and Iraq.

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Michele Beck, medical team leader with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), took advantage of the truce to go to the north of the Gaza strip, severely damaged during the war.

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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.

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"My daughter is two and a half years old. When she hears the explosions, she vomits and can sometimes spend hours without talking."

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Around Shifa hospital, in schools, in neighboring homes or with family members, almost one person in ten have been displaced by the bombing in Gaza.

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MSF team members describe their experiences in Al-Shifa hospital amidst conflict in Gaza.

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MSF sent additional staff and resources into Gaza on Thursday to support Gaza City’s al Shifa hospital, but one surgeon was refused entry at the border, reportedly because of a paperwork discrepancy. During a brief lull in the bombing, 28 patients managed to reach MSF’s clinic in Gaza City, more than had been able to access the facility since Israel's current military campaign begin.

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