MSF wishes to continue activities in Niger

Paris - On July 22, 2008, the French section of the international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) was informed of a decree issued by the Minister of Interior of Niger, Albade Abouba, suspending MSF's authorizations to work in Niger. MSF was not informed of the reasons justifying this decision. Following the decree, MSF has sought dialogue with the Niger authorities in order to clarify the situation. "MSF wishes to continue to work in agreement with the authorities of Niger in order to continue its medical activities there," said Dr. Marie-Pierre Allie, President of the French section of MSF. "We are seeking a meeting with the presidency of Niger as well as with ministries to try to rectify this situation." In the area of Maradi, MSF teams are collaborating with the Nigerien authorities to find solutions to ensure medical treatment for patients in critical care. In cooperation with the Niger government, MSF has developed new strategies to treat acute malnutrition over the past several years. Since the beginning of the year, MSF has treated more than 14,000 acutely malnourished children. At the moment, MSF is treating more than 3,400 children, including 233 hospitalized in nutritional centers. More than 70,000 children receive a monthly distribution of a nutritional supplement from MSF. MSF also supports the maternity departments of two health centers in the town of Agadez. Following declarations by the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs on July 25, 2008, in which the French government said it was "extremely worried" by the decision of the government of Niger to put an end to the activities of Médecins Sans Frontières, MSF wishes to reiterate its independence with respect to all political powers.