Somalia calls on MSF to review decision to leave country
Friday, August 16, 2013
The Somali government on Thursday called on international medical
charity Medicines Sans Frontieres (MSF) to review its decision to close
its operations in the horn of Africa country because of security
concerns, an official statement said.
The MSF or Doctors Without
Borders made the announcement to halt its relief work on Wednesday after
22 years of provision of humanitarian aid in the Horn of Africa nation.
Minister for of Human Development and Public Services, Maryan Qasim
said she would "strongly encourage and seriously request" that MSF
review its decision.
"It is unfortunate that this decision will
directly affect the lives of thousands of vulnerable people. We fear
that this decision will lead to a catastrophic humanitarian crisis," the
Minister said following a cabinet meeting over the issue.
charity said it will be closing its medical programs in the capital
Mogadishu and the suburbs of Afgooye and Daynille, as well as in a
number of other towns mostly in southern and central Somalia where over
1,500 staff provided a range of services.
The closure effectively
cuts off hundred of thousands of Somali civilians from humanitarian aid
and has been one of the hardest decisions MSF has had to make in its
Somali government expressed sadness over agency's
decision saying it recognized MSF's contribution in Somalia, "the hard
work, commitment and perseverance" which it said resulted in many lives
"We are deeply thankful and extremely indebted to
MSF for the extraordinary work they have done in Somalia. Their
involvement over the past 20 years has provided life saving services to
the most inaccessible communities," minister Qasim said.
understand the many challenges MSF have faced over the years and stress
that the new Somali government is ready to help overcome them," she
The Somali government reiterated its commitment towards
providing "secure working environment" to all aid agencies so they are
able to provide the life saving services they do.
reports from southern Somalia said that the fighters from militant
Al-Shabaab movement have looted medical facilities run by MSF taking
medicines and computers after forcing out patients following news of the
agency's decision to withdraw from the country.