Mali: MSF Maintains its Presence in Timbuktu
Since mid-April, an MSF team has been working in Timbuktu’s hospital, providing medical care for people living in a region destabilized by the conflict that has enveloped the country’s north and displaced thousands in recent months.
For much of the time MSF has worked in the hospital, Timbuktu has been controlled by Tuareg rebels and armed Islamist groups, and much of the city’s population has fled either to other parts of Mali or neighboring countries. Tension has pervaded the city, nearby health centers have been pillaged, sporadic fighting has flared up among armed groups and, recently, sacred sites around the city have been destroyed.
“Bringing aid to this destabilized region is a challenge, but it’s also a necessity,” explains Dr. Mego Terzian, MSF Emergency Desk Manager. “The instability impedes the access of humanitarians, and the north of Mali remains blocked to westerners. Nonetheless, because the situation remains volatile and could deteriorate at any time, we are maintaining our presence in Timbuktu’s hospital and in the surrounding villages.”
Photo: An MSF staff member distributes emergency supplies in Aglal, Timbuktu area.
Mali 2012 © Foura Sassou Madi/MSF