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MSF in Syria, 2009
Field Staff: 2
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Approximately 4.7 million Iraqis have sought refuge outside their country and, according to the latest figures from the UN refugee agency UNHCR, the number of registered Iraqi refugees in Syria is around 215,000. However many thousands more remain unregistered. Most of these people live in precarious conditions and cannot afford to pay for medical care.
In August 2009, MSF started a healthcare project in Damascus, Syria, in partnership with a local organization which is known as the Migrant’s Office. The aim of the project is to provide free healthcare and mental-health support to the unregistered refugees and migrants and the underprivileged residents of the city.
With the support of MSF, the clinic provides primary healthcare services, prenatal consultations and mental-health care. In the first six months, more than 2,800 patients received medical care, including 400 pregnant women, and 280 people were given psychological support.
In Syria there are also migrants and refugees from other countries, such as Afghanistan, Somalia and Sudan who live in poor conditions and need free medical care. Some 2,000 undocumented migrants from Afghanistan and Somalia live in Damascus with little or no access to medical care. MSF intends to increase the services provided in the Migrant’s Office clinic to meet this growing demand.
MSF has worked in Syria since 2009.