May 27, 2005
Five months have passed since an enormous tsunami hit parts of South Asia, leaving behind a horrifying trail of destruction and suffering. Within days of the December 26, 2004 disaster, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams began working alongside national efforts to provide assistance to individuals in need of medical care, food, clean water, shelter, and other basic necessities. The majority of MSF's work focused on hard-hit communities in Indonesia and Sri Lanka, though staff provided assistance to people in Thailand and India too. Initial exploratory teams assessed needs in Malaysia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Somalia as well, but did not find any serious unmet medical needs.
With the emergency phase now ended, MSF has reoriented its work in Indonesia and has closed its tsunami-related programs in other countries except India. More than 80 international staff and 400 national staff are currently working in the areas affected by the tsunami in Indonesia (76 international and 370 national staff) and India (4 international staff and 30 national staff). As an emergency medical organization, MSF believes it is not within its mission or line of expertise to engage in long-term development programs and large-scale rehabilitation and reconstruction which are still required in many places. Other organizations are undoubtedly better suited to undertake these tasks.
Five months since the tsunami, MSF's work in Indonesia has entered a post-emergency phase with noticeably scaled-back operations. MSF teams are continuing to address remaining needs and provide quality medical care through local hospitals, health centers, and mobile clinics as local communities cope with the tsunami's aftermath.
The teams are focusing their efforts on:
© 2013 Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)