Two abducted MSF staff released in Haiti
Two staff members of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), abducted on March 5 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti were safely released today.
“We are immensely relieved. Our colleagues are out, are safe and are in good health,” said Jean-Sebastien Matte, Head of Mission for MSF in Haiti. “We share in the joy of their relatives and friends, who have been eagerly awaiting such good news over the past five days. Our two colleagues will soon be reunited with their families.”
Out of respect for the privacy of the two, MSF is not disclosing their identities. The organisation will also not publish any information on the circumstances under which these events took place.
“Our aim is to continue working in Haiti, where the needs remain immense and our assistance is essential. We want to stay, but this security incident forces us to thoroughly review how we can work in the country.” says Bruno Jochum, Operational Director for MSF based in Geneva. “Managing the safety of our 3000 Haitian staff and 400 international aid workers is a priority and has now become more complicated. We need to reflect on the consequences of this for our work here."
MSF has been bringing medical relief to Haiti for 19 years. Following the devastating January 12 earthquake, MSF rapidly flew in extra emergency staff and supplies. So far, MSF teams have given medical treatment to more than 40,000 people, including 3,500 acts of surgery, distributed 7,000 tents, provided water to tens of thousands of homeless and given psychological support to thousands trying to cope with the loss of loved ones and belongings.