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EXODUS: Three stories, three continents, but a shared motivation – to escape violence

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MSF launches a web documentary to tell the stories of those who have no choice but to leave. Check it out at

Barcelona — No matter where they are sheltering, they need help now. Today Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) launches Exodus, a web documentary about the refugees, displaced people and migrants who find themselves forced to leave their homes.

For the first time since World War II, the number of people forced from their homes has crossed the 50 million mark, according to the UN Refugee Agency. This includes many of those whom MSF provides with aid, whether they are staying in a tent in a refugee camp, sheltering in a half-finished building, or sleeping out in the bush.

“People fleeing violence have had all sorts of different experiences, but they have something in common,” says Joan Tubau, MSF general director in Barcelona. “All have lived in an environment dominated by cruelty and brutality.”

Exodus focuses on the Syrian war, which has seen three million people flee the country; on the conflict in South Sudan, with its disastrous effects on communities already suffering a humanitarian crisis; and on the Central Americans escaping violent gang culture for the US, but finding their journeys beset by further violence.

Through a combination of written narrative, video and photography, the three stories show the shared plight of people escaping conflict and violence across the world. Whilst they take place in very different contexts and political environments, it is impossible not to draw parallels between them.

“Refugees, internally displaced people, forced migrants… these are all terms that we use, but the suffering of people fleeing violence can’t be categorised,” says Tubau. “For us, their legal status makes no difference: they are escaping from war and violence, and too often they are abandoned to their fate.