International news -MSF Situation updates
Emergency update - After life in Mosul
Medical update - Fighting NCDs in Jordan
In focus - Life at war in Yemen
MSF voices - MSF in Gaza and Nablus
In pictures- MSF’s 2016
Pull-out - Build your own ambulance
The past year was, once again, one of turbulence, and of far-reaching change. While we meet some of these changes with trepidation, others are welcomed with joy and relief, and we may take comfort from the fact that while we are on new ground, many certainties remain. Our principles remain, our compassion remains. 2016 was significant for MSF. We continued to provide independent, emergency healthcare for those in need, despite continued attacks on hospitals and patients; we rescued an unprecedented number of people from the Mediterranean Sea in our search and rescue operations; and we campaigned successfully to reduce the price of medicines for those most in need. It bears mentioning that in responding to the refugee crisis in Europe, we find ourselves conducting field operations in economically-developed European states, something that would have been hard to imagine until recently.
We must grieve for Aleppo, and the plight of Syrians everywhere; for all those lost, drowned and imprisoned in their desperation to flee; for the hardening attitudes of powerful men and women at the lives of so many. But we must also consider the many triumphs of 2016, the lives saved from epidemic, war and famine.
One significant victory was the end of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, an outbreak that has claimed more than 11,300 lives since 2013. People in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone endured and eventually prevailed in a brutal end exhausting battle against the disease. In 2015, our colleague Dr Javid Abdelmoneim recounted his experience in responding to Ebola, and he spoke of the “sacrifice, courage and bravery” of the national staff who faced fear and even death, but never left and never gave up.
When I reflect on the challenges of the past year, I find inspiration in the resilience of our patients and staff, and I take strength from our donors and supporters from around the world, without whom our work would not be possible.
To all our patients, staff and supporters, I say thank you.
Mohamed Bali Executive Director Médecins Sans Frontières UAE