MSF Medical Teams Arrive in Afghan Cities of Mazar-i-Sharif and Taloqan

MSF Personnel Assessing Humanitarian Needs in Kabul

Mazar-I-Sharif, Afghanistan/New York, November 14, 2001 — This evening at 19:00 local time (14.00 GMT), a team of three international staff from the international medical aid organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) reached Mazar-I-Sharif in northern Afghanistan after crossing the border with Turkmenistan. They have re-established contact with the MSF Afghan national staff, who have maintained the organization's medical programs in Mazar-I-Sharif and the surrounding region since the evacuation of international personnel shortly after September 11. In the coming days, the team will be evaluating the medical needs of the local population, concentrating in particular on the hospitals and health centers in Mazar-I-Sharif, and on camps for displaced persons around the city. Additional medical staff, including surgical teams, are preparing to deploy to the region immediately if necessary.

Two separate international MSF teams also arrived today in the formerly Taliban-held town of Taloqan in northern Afghanistan. They report wounded arriving at the local hospital from the fighting in nearby Kundoz province. MSF Afghan staff have sustained many of the organizations medical programs in the area since September 11.

Yesterday, an MSF team arrived in Kabul and continues to visit the city's hospitals and clinics. In the coming days, the organization hopes to re-establish its international presence in the western city of Herat.

All of MSF's relief initiatives have been undertaken independently of the warring parties in Afghanistan. MSF has worked in Afghanistan continuously since 1979 and currently has teams in Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan to provide support to the organization's Afghan relief efforts and assistance to Afghan refugees.