MSF in Somalia – Timeline
MSF in Somalia –Timeline
September 6, 2011
MSF first worked in Somalia in 1979 and has been present in the country with few interruptions since 1991, when a civil war erupted
following the downfall of the country’s dictator, Siad Barre. MSF has worked in several locations: Baidoa, Dinsor, Huddur, Jamaame, Jowhar, Kismayo, Marere, and the capital, Mogadishu, in the south; Galcayo and Guri El in the north-central area; and Belet Weyne in central Somalia. Teams have addressed a host of different crises in their many projects, focusing in particular on nutrition, emergency care for people wounded in conflict, mother and child healthcare, and treatment of infectious diseases, including cholera, measles,
kala azar, and tuberculosis (TB).
Security is and has always been the major concern for teams working in Somalia. It remains the only place where MSF employs armed guards
for its protection. Starting a project anywhere in Somalia takes a great deal of time, patience, energy, and negotiation. Even after the project is established, though, the prevailing security risks still limit the access teams have to various populations—as do the periodic and unlawful moves by those involved in the conflict to prevent medical personnel and would-be patients from reaching each other. These constraints play a large role both in determining the size and type of operations MSF can maintain and in the organization’s ability to respond to emergencies.