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Report on year 2015

Press releases 
In 2015, MSF intervened in 69 countries, where they developed 446 humanitarian projects. The organization realized 8.6 million medical consultations and hospitalized nearly 600 000 patients.

    In 2015, violence, fighting and destruction only intensified in conflict zones, forcing MSF to regularly review safety rules to allow its teams to continue to relieve, treat and bring assistance to those in need, whomever they may be, commented Paul Delaunois, General Director of MSF Luxembourg. The result of these wars was also reflected by the arrival of over a million men, women and children on the Italian and Greek coasts. These people, among the most vulnerable, have, more often than not, not been accommodated in decent and worthy conditions, because of hostile immigration policies implemented by European States.

    He added: "The year 2015 has once again highlighted the gaps and difficulties of the international community to assume its responsibilities and meet the urgent needs for assistance and protections of populations in danger."

    Attacks against medicale structures

    On 3 October, MSF Trauma Center in Kunduz , Afghanistan, was destroyed by a raid of the US Army, causing the death of 14 MSF staff , 24 patients and four of their relatives. These bombardments also deprived more than a million inhabitants Northeast Afghanistan quality surgical care.

    The Kunduz attack was not an isolated incident and instead formed one of the 106 aerial and shelling attacks that hit 75 MSF structures, or those supported by MSF, leading the organisation to raise questions about the rules of war and respect for international conventions. MSF had called for more and more guarantees in order to safely treat all of those in need, regardless of their membership in one camp or the other in the conflict.

    Attacks against health facilities reportedly hold dire consequences that go far beyond the initial material damage. Their destruction means that thousands of civilians are prevented from accessing essential medical care when they are most in need of it.

    It was in Syria that medical staff and infrastructure found themselves the most likely target of both deliberate and indiscriminate violence. 2015 saw MSF experience a total of 94 air strikes and shelling on 63 MSF-supported structures, with 12 cases resulting in the complete destruction of the building and 81 MSF-supported medical staff killed or left wounded.

    War in Syria : a humanitarian disaster

    The now five-year long war in Syria itself has been declared a humanitarian disaster, forcing some 4.3 million Syrians out of the country and internally displacing an estimated 6.6 million more. At least 1.5 million people in the latter group are trapped in besieged areas without access to humanitarian assistance, care or medical evacuation.

    Last year, MSF managed six medical facilities in the north of the country and saw the number of patients rise with medical complications due to the interruption of their care, as well as infections and deaths resulting from antibiotics shortages. MSF's support programme now includes over 70 care facilities run by Syrian physicians, which regularly receive technical advice, medical equipment, salaries and fuel. MSF also helps reconstruct damaged buildings and provides medical donations to around 80 other health centres when emergencies arise.

    Obstacle course to Europe

    In 2015, an estimated 1,008,616 people sought refuge and protection in Europe, one in two of which were from Syria. 3,771 people, at least, have lost their lives attempting to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. Search and rescue missions conducted in the Mediterranean by MSF has enabled 23,000 people to be saved whilst over 150,000 individuals, many of which were women and unaccompanied minors, were provided with medical and humanitarian assistance.

    Many asylum seekers were left with no other choice but to resort to smugglers and risk their lives through dangerous journeys to escape war and persecution or to seek a better and safer life for themselves and their families.

    Lessons learned after the Ebola epidemic

    The Operational Research (OR) Unit of MSF Luxembourg has been actively involved in the fight against Ebola - work which continued into 2015.

    The Ebola virus was the most important and hardest medical intervention with which we were confronted between 2014 and 2915; a challenge putting operational research on centre stage, explained Rony Zachariah, head of the OR Unit of MSF Luxembourg. In effect, we were confronted with a disease of which we knew very little, for which we had no cure, no means of preventions and which held several diagnostic constraints. Our operational research activities in the field enabled us to develop a better understanding of the virus and how the disease should be managed. Important lessons have been learned and it is vital that they are retained.

    MSF Luxembourg

    26 employees work within the organisation to raise awareness amongst the Luxembourg population of humanitarian issues, with a view to raising the necessary funds to in turn finance operations, manage MSF volunteers and carry out dozens of operational research projects to render operations more efficient. MSF Luxembourg also assembles 92 associate members, 62 volunteers, 8 members of the Executive Board and over 26,000 active donors to allow MSF to pursue its objectives.

    Independence thanks to donor support

    In its 2015 report, the organisation pointed to the generosity of the Luxembourg public as an important vector to fulfilling its missions. In 2015, Luxembourg donors supported MSF activities to the tune of €5.4 million.

    We would like to thank all Luxembourg donors who, through their gestures of solidarity, allow us to provide medical aid among the poorest populations, commented Dr. Guy Berchem, President of MSF Luxembourg. It is through this support that we can act independently, wherever the medical and health situation demands.

    The association pledged to continue to provide medical assistance in 2016 to populations whose lives or health have been compromised - primarily in the event of armed conflicts, epidemics, natural disasters or care deprivation. It promised to continue to act impartially, without regard for political, economic, military or religious factors.