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MSF Addresses U.N. Security Council on Humanitarian Situation in Angola
March 5, 2002
At a special Arria Formula briefing today, the international medical relief organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) addressed the United Nations Security Council about the deplorable humanitarian situation in Angola.
The MSF briefing raised two main issues:
"The parties at war, with the support of the international community, should take whatever steps are necessary to negotiate, improve and secure humanitarian access, and to respect the right of populations in need to receive humanitarian assistance," stated Erwin van der Borght, MSF's head of mission in Angola, in his address to the Security Council. "Forced displacement occurring throughout the country is responsible for devastating the health and nutritional status of large civilian populations. It is a violation of international humanitarian law and should be halted immediately."
MSF was invited, along with Oxfam, Human Rights Watch, and Save the Children, by the Singapore Mission to the United Nations to brief the Security Council under The Arria Formula, a special mechanism that allows members to receive expert information on a matter of concern.
MSF has been working in Angola since 1983, and today more than 80 international volunteers and 850 national staff provide medical aid in 10 of Angola's 18 provinces.