Join us for an online discussion about the current situation in South Sudan, featuring a panel of three experienced MSF aid workers recently returned from assignments supporting MSF’s emergency response to the crisis.
In December 2013 fighting erupted in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, and quickly spread to other areas of the country. Since then, thousands of people have been killed, while health care—barely available in South Sudan before these recent hostilities—has now come under direct attack. Hospitals—meant to represent spaces of safety and healing—have been looted and burned, with medical staff threatened and abused, and patients killed in their beds.
The current crisis has displaced more than one million South Sudanese—many to settlements within the country, and others to refugee camps in neighboring Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda. Reaching these sites, however, has not been a guarantee of shelter and security. Living conditions are precarious, with camps often situated in locations prone to flooding, with poor sanitation, and insufficient shelter, food, and water. The response to this situation from the international humanitarian aid system has been inadequate.
With about 400 international staff, more than 3,300 national staff, 22 projects in 9 states, and an operational budget exceeding $100 million, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) runs one of its largest humanitarian aid programs in South Sudan. Additional teams are assisting refugees in Uganda and Ethiopia.
Viewer participation is encouraged via a chat feature available during the webcast.
Jordan Davidoff, an emergency coordinator from Brooklyn, New York with previous MSF assignments in Georgia, Kenya, Chad, Central African Republic, Sudan, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, and Syria, was head of mission in South Sudan from October 2012-July 2013, and more recently coordinated the set up of emergency field hospitals to assist some 130,000 South Sudanese refugees who fled across the border to Ethiopia.
Dr. Nell Eisenberg, an infectious disease specialist from New York City who has previously worked with MSF in Guatemala, India, and Kenya, has just returned from an assignment in Malakal, Upper Nile State, South Sudan, where MSF teams are running an adult and pediatric inpatient ward, as well as providing inpatient and outpatient treatment of malnutrition.
Dr. Michael Sinclair, a surgeon from Allentown, Pennsylvania who has completed 13 field assignments, most recently treated war wounded in MSF’s hospital in Lankien, Jonglei State, South Sudan, where thousands of internally displaced people have settled since fighting first broke out.
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