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East Africa: humanitarian action and words of 2019

2019 was an intense year in East Africa. Deep political changes, climate crisis, outbreaks of disease, displacement of populations due to conflict and protracted humanitarian crises. With this short post I want to remember some of the situations MSF responded to and talked about.

In January, Tom Rhodes wrote this exhaustive piece about the toll of conflict in the mental health of the people across the region, gathering insights from Kenya, South Sudan or Uganda.

Also on the same topic, we released this interview in February analyzing some of the challenges and situations faced in South Sudan to support the reintegration of former child soldiers in their society.

In April, a new hospital was opened in Ulang, South Sudan. This is a very remote area, prone to inter-communal violence, where the population had very little access to healthcare.
Still enormous humanitarian needs in South Sudan
In June, we paid some attention at the precarious situation in the Protection of Civilians sites -known as PoCs- in Malakal and Bentiu, South Sudan. Tens of thousands of people seeking safety have been trapped in these camps for years.
This short video summarizes how people are living in Malakal. This used to be the second biggest South Sudanese city before the war started in 2013 and now still remains heavily affected.
In September, North Darfur state, in western Sudan, started to suffer an alarming increase of malaria cases. It was only in December that the situation began to improve.
In October, heavy rains led to floods accross EastAfrica. The photographer Alex McBride
published this strong essay about Pibor, South Sudan and Nicola Flamigni filmed this impressive footage in Ulang showing the struggle of the people.
Floods also hit badly Beledweyne, in central Somalia. Somalia has been deeply affected by drought and conflict in recent years. Floods contributed to exacerbate the vulnerability of many.
In November, the colleague Frank Odongo reminded us also about the fragile situation of Somali refugees in Dadaab, Kenya.
In December, before closing the year, the Spanish section of MSF launched a campaign to raise awareness about the neonatal mortality. The fight to save lives of premature babies and newborns affected by infections in Gambela, Ethiopia, was featured.

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