Doctors Without Borders, formally known as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), announced today “it will end medical activities in Tripoli”, where it has been providing healthcare to migrants, asylum seekers and refugees held in detention centres.
“The activities will come to an end as of today, while our support in Tripoli to the National Programme on Tuberculosis and at Abu-Setta Hospital for respiratory diseases, will cease at the end of this year,” the non-governmental organization said in a statement.
MSF explained that its decision to close medical activities in Tripoli “follows an extensive review of our humanitarian responses globally and a process of financial reprioritisation.”
“The announcement is made against the backdrop of access issues that have affected our medical activities in Tripoli along with an increasingly challenging environment for international organisations in the country,” it said.
The closure of our medical activities will end assistance to people in detention centres in Tripoli.
Djoen Besselink, MSF operations manager, said he and his team “had to take the difficult decision to end our medical activities in Tripoli, knowing that this will have an impact on people’s access to medical care. We have not taken this decision lightly”.
While MSF’s activities in Tripoli ends today, Besselink pointed out that the organization will continue to work in Misrata and Zuwara.
MSF will also “continue search and rescue activities to assist asylum seekers, refugees and migrants who risk their lives crossing the central Mediterranean Sea, and advocate for safe pathways for people to seek protection.”
Since 2016, MSF have provided general healthcare in Tripoli, including mental health support, referrals of life-threatening conditions to specialist healthcare facilities, and the facilitation of access to protection services.