Syria: Military Operations in Eastern Ghouta Drastically Limit Medical Aid

SOUTH SUDAN © Valérie Batselaere/MSF

MARCH 21, 2018—Lorena Bilbao, Syria operations coordinator for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), gave the following statement today on the situation in eastern Ghouta, Syria:

"The intensity of the war in eastern Ghouta is confronting the limits of our ability to provide assistance. As the front lines of battle have moved, and as the Syrian government has taken swathes of territory in eastern Ghouta, hospitals and clinics supported by MSF have been evacuated, with staff fleeing the approaching front line. From 20 facilities we were supporting a week ago, we are now down to supporting just one hospital. The remaining pre-positioned MSF medical stock, based in the southern enclave of eastern Ghouta, is now in an area under Syrian government control. Ongoing bombing and shelling, and the speed of the military advance, have made it extremely difficult to distribute the remaining medical items to facilities still in besieged areas, where little or no medical supply is permitted to enter by the Syrian government. With significantly reduced medical support capacity, we continue to offer what technical and moral support we can to the medics struggling to maintain some lifesaving medical care in unimaginably awful circumstances."