Wednesday, March 21, 2018 — "The intensity of the war in East Ghouta is finding the limits of our ability to provide assistance," says Lorena Bilbao, Syria Operations Coordinator for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
"As the frontlines of battle have moved, and as the Syrian government has taken swathes of territory in the East Ghouta battle, hospitals and clinics we support have been evacuated, with staff moving away to escape the approaching frontline fighting. From 20 facilities we were supporting a week ago, we are now down to just one supported hospital.
"The remaining pre-positioned MSF medical stock, based in the southern enclave of East Ghouta, is now in an area under Syrian government control. The difficulties moving medical supplies because of the bombing and shelling, and the high speed of the military advance, meant that there was insufficient time to distribute the remaining items to facilities still in the besieged areas, where little or no medical supply is permitted to enter by the Syrian government.
"With extremely reduced medical support capacity, we continue to offer what technical and moral support we can to the medics who are struggling to maintain some life-saving medical care in circumstances that are unimaginably awful."