What began in 2011 in Syria as protests inspired by the Arab Spring has become an entrenched and bloody conflict that shows no sign of resolution.
Today, with an estimated 200,000 people killed and 7.6 million people displaced within the country and 3.2 million refugees registered outside, Syria is seen as the world’s most grave humanitarian disaster. In the face of this crisis, the previously functioning health system has collapsed and scores of thousands of medical staff have fled. Many others inside the country have been targeted for their work.
There are massive unmet needs, millions of frightened and vulnerable people, and a dreadfully restricted aid response. Despite the extremely challenging security context – five MSF staff were abducted in early 2014, and subsequently released – MSF continues to operate medical facilities inside Syria, as well as supporting directly more than 100 clinics, health posts and field hospitals. MSF is also working with patients from Syria who have fled to Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. In recent weeks and months, controls on refugees seeking to enter Jordan and Lebanon have been tightened, increasing the difficulties of Syrians wishing to flee the country.