Emergency response to people affected by wood fires in Russia

MSF has provided humanitarian aid to people living in villages affected by wood fires in Ryazan region, approximately 200 km from Moscow. About 2,000 people have been displaced by the fires in this region.  Families who lost their homes have found shelter in boarding schools, hospitals and other public facilities, while many others are staying with relatives and friends.

“People have serious breathing problems, everybody is suffering from itching due to allergy caused by smoke. We are in acute need of antihistamines, respirators and drinking water,” explained Irina Anatolyevna, head doctor in the Kriusha village hospital. “It’s not only those who have lost their homes, all the local residents are also affected.”

On August 6 and 11, an MSF team distributed basic food items, hygiene kits and bed sheets for 500 people. Respirators, drinking water and essential drugs, as well as medicines for chronically ill patients, were donated to two local healthcare facilities. The facilities include an out-patient clinic in Polyany and a hospital in Kriusha, a village with a population of 1,060 people. Kriusha in particular has been severely affected by the fires.

Safe drinking water for the residents and volunteer firefighters remains one of the most acute needs as the wells in the area were closed because of the sanitary situation.

MSF is monitoring the situation in the region and further exploratory visits and donations are planned.