MSF begins operations with Afghans at Pakistan border

There is increasing population pressures on the Chaman border crossing between Pakistan and Afganistan where some 1,000 prospective refugees have been reported to be on the Afghanistan side. Only the most vulnerable have been allowed to cross over to Pakistan. MSF has started operations on the Pakistani side of the Chaman border dealing with the vulnerables.

The initial team consist of nine expats - six of them medical - and MSF activities include medical screening, treatment and referral. The vulnerable population is being identified and transported by the Pakistan authorities and delivered to a staging camp where MSF is operating.

The camp has been created by the Pakistani government. MSF is continuing to ask permission to cross the border to work among the entire refugee group, including those in Afghanistan. MSF now has some 70 international aid workers assisting, or trying to assist, the Afghan people. Some work inside Afghanistan, in regions under control of the Northern Alliance.

Others are working for the current refugee populations in Iran and Pakistan. Additional MSF staff are in the region to immediately respond to new emergencies. In Taleban-held areas, MSF's Afghan staff are maintaining most of the projects.