MSF Returns to Kunduz, Afghanistan

SOUTH SUDAN © Valérie Batselaere/MSF

New York, November 28, 2001 — A Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) international medical team, including a nurse and a field coordinator, re-entered the city of Kunduz yesterday, November 27. According to local Afghan MSF staff members who had continued to work in Kunduz even after the evacuation of MSF international staff following September 11, the MSF clinic has not been able to deliver medical care to the population of Kunduz during the recent fighting. The newly arrived MSF team found the clinic empty of patients and looted.

The MSF team reported that the city seemed quiet despite the presence of many armed Northern Alliance troops. "We have seen many armed men, and nearly no women or children. Some families who had fled the city are coming back now in small numbers," says Edith Verrier, an MSF nurse based in Taloqan who traveled to Kunduz yesterday.

A second and larger team is carrying out an assessment of medical needs in Kunduz today.

MSF currently has international medical relief teams working in Afghanistan in the cities of Kabul, Mazar-I-Sharif, Herat, Taloqan, Faizabad, and the surrounding areas. MSF has worked in Afghanistan continuously since 1979 and also has teams in Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan to provide assistance to refugees and support to the Afghan relief programs.