Medical care under fire

Victor J. Blue/MSF

On 3 October 2015, US airstrikes killed 42 people and destroyed the MSF trauma hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Since then there have been further attacks on medical facilities run and supported by MSF in Syria and Yemen.

Hospitals are being continually dragged onto the battlefield, and patients and their doctors and nurses are sacrificed in the process. It was the destruction of the Kunduz Trauma Centre, and the devastating assault on health facilities in Syria and Yemen that led to UN Security Council Resolution 2286 being passed in May 2016. The resolution strongly condemned attacks on medical facilities  and demanded that all parties to armed conflict comply fully with their obligations under international law. However, with one hand States sign a resolution to protect health facilities, while with the other they continue to be directly involved or complicit in the ongoing onslaught against health workers and patients in conflict zones.

Every attack on a health facility the chasm widens between the rhetoric from governments about their respect for International Humanitarian Law, and the way they wage wars in reality. For more than 40 years MSF has negotiated the protection of its medical facilities in conflicts around the world. Our work in convincing warring parties to respect health facilities will continue.

Sort by:

Press release
“It is evident that hospitals are not safe from bombings in Idlib at the moment, and this is...
Interview
"After six years of war, the scale of unmet medical needs continues to increase."
Updates
Article
“Patients tell us large numbers of sick and wounded people are trapped inside Raqqa city with...
Press release
Updates
“This event forced us to evacuate part of our team and reduce our activities at a time when people...
Statement
“The callousness of this attack highlights both the indiscriminate nature and disturbing escalation...
Press release
“The G20 leaders need to improve people’s access to medical care and turn their words into action.”
Press release
Updates
"Our greatest fear is that many of the most urgent cases are dying on the battlefield, unable to...
Press release
Updates
"The inhabitants of Zemio had no time to take anything with them when the shooting started on...
Updates
Article
Nearly four years after withdrawing its teams from Somalia, MSF has started treating patients again...
Press release
Updates
Article
More than 27,000 people have fled their homes since mid-February after clashes between the Sudan...
Updates
Article
In the evening of 24 May 2017, an armed man entered Bangassou hospital, which is managed by...
Press release
Reports from doctors MSF supports in the area outline grave incidents on 29 and 30 April in which...
Statement
Update, 16 June 2017: MSF to Resume its Medical Support to East Ghouta Because of the infractions...
Updates
MSF recently responded to this crisis with an emergency distribution of 893 kits of essential...
Interview
"The civilian population is paying a very high price. The war is also having other effects: fear,...
Press release
A hospital in northern Syria supported by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been hit in an aerial...

Pages