October 26, 2001
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has begun providing medical care and water and sanitation support to a group of newly arrived Afghan refugees who are being sheltered in a camp close to the city of
Chamanin southern Pakistan, near the border of Afghanistan.
As of October 26, the Chaman camp (also known as Killi Faizo) was providing shelter for approximately 270 Afghan refugees who arrived earlier that week. Now, as of October 30, the MSF team working in Killi Faizo camp reports that the camp now holds over 1,000 refugees and is near capacity.Some of the newly arrived refugees have traveled from as far inside Afghanistan as Mazar-I-Sharif, a nine-day journey. MSF is also supporting the main hospital in the city of Chaman. At present, the MSF team in Chaman is not witnessing the arrival of large numbers of additional refugees or persons waiting across the border, but remains vigilant to any change in this situation.
On Thursday, October 25, MSF vaccinated 80 children for measles and provided 55 medical consultations in Killi Faizo. No war injuries were reported. Most patients complained of headaches and hearing difficulties that could be related to the bombings. MSF also installed a water bladder for the health facility in the camp, and built private latrine facilities for female occupants of the camp. Ten MSF international relief workers and 15 national staff are currently working in the camp. MSF has sufficient supplies on hand to deliver additional assistance should the needs increase.
One of the only independent international aid groups operational in Pakistan, MSF continues to work extensively in the Jalozai camp, home to approximately 50,000 Afghan refugees, north of
Peshawar. MSF operates a supplementary feeding center and provides basic health care, including services for mother and child health care and vaccinations in Jalozai camp. The organization also distributes shelter materials, builds and maintains latrines, carries out camp-wide health and nutritional assessments, and provides water distribution of one million liters per day by truck.
MSF Programs in Afghanistan and Surrounding Countries
MSF has worked continuously in Afghanistan since 1979. Before the withdrawal of the majority of its international staff due to rising tensions in the country following the September 11th attacks, MSF had 70 international and over 400 Afghan staff working on medical and nutritional programs throughout Afghanistan. At present, MSF teams continue to work in the
Northern Alliance-controlled regionsof northeastern Afghanistan.
MSF operations inside the
Taliban-held areas of Afghanistancontinue to function after last week's looting of MSF offices in the cities of Mazar-I-Sharif and Kandahar. The lootings caused the temporary suspension of some operations being run by Afghan staff. MSF remains concerned over the condition of the civilian population in Afghanistan and the lack of independent humanitarian access within the country.
Additional MSF teams are delivering assistance to Afghan refugees in neighboring
Iran, as well as
Pakistan, and remain on alert for a possible influx of additional refugees. MSF teams located in Iran, Pakistan,
Tajikistanremain at the ready to transport aid materials into Afghanistan to re-supply existing MSF programs and assess additional medical needs.
© 2013 Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)