From the Executive Director
MSF has been dealing with the humanitarian consequences of violence as a core activity since we were founded, whether it is a war, a tribal conflict or a family incident. Among the many victims that our teams treat every day in the front line, women are the group that often suffers most but shows the greatest resilience.
In South Sudan, where ongoing conflicts and instability have crushed the health system over many years, people are regularly trapped in epidemics. When malaria hit last year, we saw mothers who walked for hours to bring us their sick children, fearing they may lose them. They are not fighting in the front line, but they suffer as much as fighters do when crises develop.
A different form of violence that prevails in Papua New Guinea (PNG) has also devastated many women’s lives. Since 2009, MSF has treated over 28,000 survivors of family and sexual violence there, most of whom were female and many of them having been threatened with death. The lack of social or legal protection leaves them trapped in cycles of violence, and yet our staff have seen how they survive against all odds. In our Cover Story, we bring you stories of women we encountered in these two countries which illustrate the humanitarian crises unfolding there.
Meanwhile, violence has also forced thousands of Central Africans, many of them women and children, to flee their homes and stay in displaced persons camps with little hope of returning. The Photo Feature is about their lives and their massive medical needs.
Bringing you even closer to MSF’s work, the new section, MSF Warehouse, introduces various items and equipment that we use in our projects. In this issue we look at Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), the most effective tool in treating malnourished children in developing countries.
MSF remains committed to providing the much needed medical assistance to women and vulnerable populations in all circumstances, including the most extreme violence, but your support is indispensable to achieving this. Thank you for walking with us.
Rémi Carrier, Executive Director, Médecins Sans Frontières Hong Kong