22 Jan MSF resumes work after government ban

Written by Mizzima Published in Myanmar Read 2036 times
Medecins Sans Frontieres conducts a mobile clinic at Sintemaw IDP camp, Rakhine State, Myanmar. Photo: Aye Pyae Sone/MSF
Medecins Sans Frontieres conducts a mobile clinic at Sintemaw IDP camp, Rakhine State, Myanmar. Photo: Aye Pyae Sone/MSF

The Myanmar government has allowed the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres to resume its basic health care work in Rakhine State after a nine-month ban imposed due to allegations of bias, according to a January 21 press release.

MSF or Doctors Without Borders said that it was allowed to resume work on December 17, recently reopening primary health care clinics that the government had ordered closed in February 2014.

The clinics serve a population of more than 750,000 people, most of them Muslim Rohingya.

“We welcome the progress we have made so far, but stress there is space to do more, space we at MSF are willing and able to fill,” Ms Martine Flokstra, the group’s Amsterdam-based operational advisor for the country, said in the press release.

MSF was kicked out of Rakhine State in February following accusations that the aid group favoured Muslims over Buddhists. MSF has repeatedly emphasised that it provides care based solely on need.

Rakhine State saw serious outbreaks of deadly communal violence between Buddhists and Muslim Rohingya in 2012 that resulted in tens of thousands being displaced, many now forced to live in camps.

The Myanmar government was widely criticised for the move against the aid group that cut off the largest provider of health care services in a state that has a poor record of child malnourishment.

Last modified on Thursday, 22 January 2015 18:39