Attacks force MSF to end its support in Fizi territory, DRC

An MSF nurse working in Democratic Republic of Congo An MSF nurse working in Democratic Republic of Congo Thibaud Eude/MSF

01 December 2020

Médecins Sans Frontière (MSF) has recently decided to end its projects in Fizi territory, following security incidents against its staff

As stated by Ellen van der Velden, MSF operational manager, the humanitarian medical NGO has recently come to the difficult decision to end its support in Fizi territory, in the South Kivu province of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). “It is not something we come to lightly”, confirmed van der Valden, as security incidents involving MSF staff are recurring and the potential further harm to the staff makes it unacceptable for them to maintain their support in the territory.

More specifically, activities from criminal and armed groups across eastern DRC have led to ongoing violence and attacks, which have in turn had a devastating impact on civilians and their communities. Livelihoods have been disrupted and millions of people have been displaced due to the targeted killings and horrific acts of violence, including sexual violence. National and international organisations have also been subject to indiscriminate attacks.

In Kimbi and Baraka, MSF will only keep a limited number of services to ensure ongoing treatment for HIV and tuberculosis patients for the next six months, while also supporting national health workers providing care in territories with no access to Ministry of health clinics. The support will also be provided to Ministry of Health staff and medicines donations will continue in the first quarter of 2021.

On behalf of MSF, Ellen van der Velden has also called upon all parties to protect civilians and respect humanitarian access, as it is the people of DRC who are most impacted by this ongoing violence.


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Author: Barbara Caltabiano; Editor: Gianmarco Italia

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