FOREIGN AID FAILURE: Doctors Without Frontiers leaves Somalia
Attacks on staff prompts the exodus of medical officials
Charity clearly has its limits. The international medical charity Doctors Without Frontiers, also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF has begun closing all its humanitarian operations in Somalia due to attacks on its staff.
In the years following its civil war, Somalia still lacks a central government. Essentially, the nation is in a state of anarchy.
"The closure of our activities is a direct result of extreme attacks on our staff, in an environment where armed groups and civilian leaders increasingly support, tolerate or condone the killing, assaulting and abducting of humanitarian aid workers," Karunakara told reporters in Nairobi, Kenya.
Somalia is vainly attempting to haul itself out of 20 years of conflict and to provide such necessary public services such as health and education.
As an example of the ongoing problem, two female Spanish aid workers employed by MSF were freed by their Somali kidnappers after almost two years in captivity last month.
The MSF shut down two major medical centers in the Somali capital, Mogadishu early last year after two members of the international staff were shot dead by a former colleague in the heart of the government-controlled city. Fourteen other MSF staff members have been killed since 1991 when civil war erupted in the country.
" . we have reached our limit." The MSF have always negotiated with armed groups and authorities on all sides and even resorted to hiring armed guards, something it does not do in any other country, Karunakara noted.
In the years following its civil war, Somalia still lacks a central government. In its absence, Somalia's residents reverted to local forms of conflict resolution, consisting of civil law, religious law and customary law. A few autonomous regions, including the Somaliland, Puntland and Galmudug administrations, emerged in the north in the ensuing process of decentralization. Essentially, the nation is in a state of anarchy.
The situation there poses sticky questions in regards to foreign aid. Should the world send help to a nations that does not request it? Where does the funding for food and medicine go? Without a central government, it's not far off the mark to suppose that these funds are winding up in pockets - far, far away from those who desperately need it.
© 2013, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2013
General Intention: Victimized Children. That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.
Missionary Intention: Prepare the Savior's Coming. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.
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