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Serbia & Montenegro
MSF in Serbia & Montenegro, 2004
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In the early 1990s, MSF started providing assistance in what was then the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. MSF teams worked in five of the six republics of former Yugoslavia to provide basic health care, water and sanitation services to those affected by conflict as the country broke apart. Today MSF staff assist some of the estimated 200,000 Kosovars now living in Serbia.
In July 2003, MSF began making mental health care available to internally displaced people living in camps in the southern Pcinja district's municipalities of Vranje and Bujanovac. In addition to providing direct psychological and social care, MSF staff are lobbying authorities to grant displaced people the same legal status as Serbian citizens. While the government has extended these rights in theory, this is still not the case in practice. Equal status would help the displaced obtain needed medical care and social services.
MSF is monitoring reforms to the health system and their impact on people's lives. The organization is also cooperating with local authorities on emergency preparedness and response to earthquakes and floods which are both common in the region.
MSF started working in parts of the former Yugoslavia in 1991.