Somalia 2011 Yann Libessart/MSF
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international medical humanitarian organization that assists people threatened by violence, disease, malnutrition, and natural disaster. Donations from Global Giving helped to support MSF’s response to new emergencies and its nutritional programs assisting children caught in chronic crises.
In 2012, MSF’s major nutritional response was in Somalia, where MSF teams battled a dire crisis, both within the country’s borders and in refugee camps for Somalis in neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia. The crisis was driven by a severe drought and a prolonged civil war, which prompted hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes and threatened millions of lives. Across the region, MSF treated more than 95,000 malnourished patients—including over 13,000 children who were so sick that they required intensive, 24-hour care—in 22 locations. In many parts of Somalia, MSF is the only international aid organization present, making its programs all the more critical to saving lives.
At the same time, MSF ran other critical, lifesaving nutrition programs in about 30 countries. Due to the high prevalence of malnutrition in Africa, most MSF nutrition projects are located in sub-Saharan African countries, as well as in Yemen, Haiti, and five countries in Asia. Through these programs, MSF continued to develop and refine its strategies to bring effective nutritional care to more children around the world.
In 2012, MSF scaled up programs to handle increased levels of malnutrition in some parts of the Sahel region of Africa. The United Nations predicts that one million children will suffer from the severest form of malnutrition in the Sahel in the coming months. Drought, poor harvests, and rising food prices have left children, who already live in one of the poorest regions of the world, at risk of becoming severely malnourished and in danger of dying. In the coming months, our teams will give thousands of children access to free, lifesaving treatment at programs in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, and are evaluating whether to open additional programs in other countries.
Thank you for supporting MSF’s work to bring nutritional care to hundreds of thousands of malnourished children who are struggling to survive.
Example of an MSF Program Funded by Your Support
Responding to a Major Humanitarian Crisis in Somalia
Last year, a dire humanitarian crisis unfolded in Somalia and in refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia. The people of Somalia have endured 20 years of a brutal civil war. While living conditions were already extremely difficult for millions of Somalis, a devastating drought led to crop failures, high food prices, and livestock deaths in 2011. As more and more children became malnourished and the war raged, people fled Somalia in large numbers.
At the Dadaab refugee camp complex in northeastern Kenya—now the largest refugee camp in the world with over 460,000 inhabitants—MSF is providing around-the-clock emergency services at its general hospital. MSF opened an inpatient feeding center for the sickest children, and six outpatient clinics to try to keep pace with the large numbers of children who needed urgent help. In the Dolo Ado region of Liben District, Ethiopia, an MSF survey showed that more than half of children under five were malnourished upon their arrival from Somalia.
Inside Somalia, tens of thousands of people fled to overcrowded camps in and around the beleaguered capital city of Mogadishu. MSF staff provided a full range of health services, from basic healthcare to surgery, nutritional care, cholera and measles treatment, and maternal care.