Half a century has passed since, in 1971, a handful of volunteers from Doctors Without Borders (MSF) took the first steps to offer medical-humanitarian assistance; In 2021, more than 63,000 people continued that work, providing urgent care in more than 70 countries.

Trauma and tragedy in Tigray (Ethiopia)

In 2021, few places needed the presence of dedicated medical personnel for vital tasks more than Ethiopia. The ongoing conflict in the Tigray region in the north of the country has resulted in widespread devastation: hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced and left in dire conditions, without receiving food, water or medical assistance. In March, we reported that only one of the seven medical centers in the region that we had visited in a period of three months was fully operational; the rest lacked personnel and supplies or had been systematically attacked and looted.

Unfortunately, our teams in Tigray were not spared from the violence. In June, our driver Tedros Gebremariam Gebremichael, our assistant coordinator Yohannes Halefom Reda, and our emergency coordinator María Hernández Matas were brutally murdered. We still don’t know for sure who did it and why, and we haven’t stopped working to find answers for their families. We miss them and continue to mourn their loss.

Between the violence, access limitations and administrative problems, Tigray has been hostile to humanitarian work. Since August 2021, only one MSF team has been able to work in the region and by the end of November, not a single one has been able to do so. This was due to two facts: our decision to withdraw after the murders of our comrades and the inability to bring supplies and support our teams. At the end of July, the authorities had already ordered the Dutch section of MSF to suspend its activities in Ethiopia for a period of three months. The attacks from the media, deliberately plotted against NGOs in general and MSF in particular, and combined with the lack of answers about the murder of our colleagues, made it extremely difficult for us to continue our activities in Ethiopia. During that period, we were only able to continue working in one region of the country, in addition to the activities carried out in neighboring Sudan to assist Ethiopian refugees.

Source: Doctors Without Borders

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Half a century has passed since, in 1971, a handful of volunteers from Doctors Without Borders (MSF) took the first steps to offer medical-humanitarian assistance; In 2021, more than 63,000 people continued that work, providing urgent care in more than 70 countries.Trauma and tragedy in Tigray (Ethiopia)In 2021, few...