May 24, 2012
Ethiopia 2011 ©: Michael Tsegaye
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has handed over its project in Hiloweyn camp, one of the five refugee camps near the border between Ethiopia and Somalia, to ARRA, an Ethiopian refugee agency. The number of refugees crossing the border has decreased significantly since August 2011—the height of the humanitarian crisis—when MSF opened the project.
The majority of the incoming refugee population in July and August 2011 suffered from malnutrition and opportunistic infections. Since then, in the Hiloweyn camp alone, MSF has treated over 50,000 outpatients—including nearly 10,000 children and young adults for malnutrition—and 1,000 inpatient admissions.
MSF continues to work in all five camps in Liben with stabilization centers for severely malnourished children with medical complications. Additionally, MSF provides primary and secondary health care in the newest camp, Bur Amino, where an average of 2,000 new refugees are settled per month. MSF also works in partnership with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health to provide emergency surgical care and stabilization in the Dolo Ado Health Center.
MSF has been working in Somalia continuously since 1991. MSF relies solely on private charitable donations for its work in Somalia and does not accept any government funding.
The war in Somalia is now entering its twenty-first year. After the drought and the enormous crisis of last year, people survive and live hand-to-mouth and are still highly vulnerable to infections, disease, and malnourishment.
Inside Somalia, MSF will not step up its activities or open up new projects until its two colleagues—Montserrat Serra and Blanca Thiebaut, abducted in Dadaab and held in Somalia since October 2011—are reunited with their families.
© 2013 Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)