MSF opens programmes for displaced Afghans inside Afghanistan

This week, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) opened two assistance programmes for internally displaced Afghans near the Iranian border at Mile 46 and Makaki - both in Afghan territory.

While the border between Afghanistan and the Islamic Republic of Iran remains closed, Afghans fleeing the war, hunger and persecution have gathered in the desert area between the provinces of Nimroz, in Afghanistan, and Sistan Balouchistan in Iran. There are approximately 8,000 displaced gathered in the two camps run by the Iranian Red Crescent.

"The camps are located in a desert area - there is nothing but stones and sand, there's no shade anywhere" said MSF volunteer Pierre Pascal Vandini.

There are currently 800 people in the camp at Mile 46, located in a zone controlled by the anti-Taleban forces, and nearly 8,000 in Makaki, located inside Taleban controlled territory.

"The situation is worse in Makaki where most of the families were not even aware of the fact that there was a doctor in the camp" Vandini added.

In cooperation with the Iranian Red Crescent, who cannot meet all the needs alone, MSF has set up dispensaries in both camps to provide medical consultations, particularly for women.

As many patients are suffering from infectious diarrhoea, a rehydration unit, isolation zone and observation tent with beds are also being installed.

MSF teams describe the populations who have gathered in these camps as extremely vulnerable. The families have come from all over Afghanistan and now have practically no resources left.