Myanmar: MSF office in Rakhine state destroyed

The loss of the facility is another blow to a decimated health care system.

Burned remains of MSF office in Buthidaung.

Burned remains of MSF office in Buthidaung. | Myanmar 2024 © MSF

The office and pharmacy of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Rakhine state, Myanmar was destroyed in a fire on April 15, along with all of its medical stock and office equipment. We urge all parties to the conflict to respect health care facilities as per their obligations under international humanitarian law.

BUTHIDAUNG, April 16, 2024—MSF is deeply alarmed that our office and pharmacy in Buthidaung, Rakhine state, Myanmar, burnt down on April 15. The burning down of MSF’s office and pharmacy is just the latest blow to what is a decimation of available health care options for people in Rakhine state and their continued denial of access to humanitarian assistance.

No staff were injured, but all medical stock and office equipment were destroyed. This includes lifesaving drugs such as antibiotics, instrumental in the treatment of diseases like pneumonia, primarily affecting children under five years old.

Burned ruins of MSF office in Buthidaung.
Burnt wreckage of the MSF office in Buthidaung from an April 15 fire.
Myanmar © 2024 MSF

The destruction of the MSF office comes amid increasing violence witnessed in Buthidaung since last Friday. We hear reports of more than 200 homes burned down and witness thousands of people who are displaced by the violence seeking refuge in an area directly across from where our office was located.

We are urging parties to the conflict to respect the protection of health care facilities as is per their obligation under international humanitarian law. We urge relevant authorities to consider the urgent need to expedite approvals for the movement of medical supplies, facilitate our ability to restock the destroyed supplies at our Buthidaung office, and restore humanitarian access, now impeded in the state since November 2023.  

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