“No humanitarian progress without a ceasefire”, warns MSF

After a month of war, “faced with the slaughter, faced with the scale of the needs”, the organization Doctors Without Borders urgently calls for a ceasefire.

In one month of war between Israel and Hamas, 10,328 people died, including 4,237 children, and 25,958 were injured in the Gaza Strip, according to the Hamas government’s Health Ministry. “Faced with the massacre, faced with the scale of the needs”, The organization Doctors Without Borders urgently calls for a ceasefire. “No humanitarian progress without a ceasefire”alerts Claire Magone, general director of the organization during a press conference given in Paris on November 7.

MSF also denounces the alarming living conditions of civilians. “I was in Gaza when the war started”, says Louis Baudoin Laarman, MSF communications manager for Palestine. He left on November 1st. “From the start, it was an untenable situation that was getting worse every day, like a tragedy with no end, no escape. The only certainty was the bombs falling”. He and his team first took refuge in a UN base where they “buried in a room”. They stay there three days. He remembers “walls that shake, shrapnel that damages buildings”. “That’s what struck me. We had iron shutters, but not everyone had them. Some of our colleagues told us that a block of concrete had passed through their windows.”

“There is no safe place in Gaza”

It tells of the horror of war. In total, four trips during these 25 days and never any certainty of being in a safe place, even when “quite privileged by our expatriate status”, he specifies. “This reflects the situation of all Palestinians who continue to have to move without ever knowing if they will be safe, because there is no safe place in Gaza.”adds the survivor. “With a situation that is getting worse every day, the first numbers arrive, the first stories: a colleague who lost a mother, a father, an uncle, an aunt. We lose count in the end, even if they are people which we are quite close to, completely tragic stories which come back every day because it is total war”.

Louis Baudoin adds that people have nowhere to go. “Those who remained [dans le nord du territoire] do not have the means to leave or do not want to because they do not think that they will be safer elsewhere, because overall, leaving Gaza City to go to the South is not necessarily saving his life”he summarizes.

Lack of resources, tensions in the camps and permanent insecurity

Concerning infrastructure, the situation is alarming, according to Michel-Olivier Lacharité, head of MSF’s Emergency program. 300 employees of the association are present in the area and volunteers travel to hospitals. But everywhere, it is the same observation: a lack of resources. Shortage of medicines, lack of water, food, beds, toilets and surgeries carried out on the floor.

Moreover, “hospitals are no longer places of refuge, since they are directly affected by the bombings”, explains the head of the association’s Emergency program. He calls on everyone to become aware of the extent of the “disaster” in progress. “With 25,000 injured since October 7, we are talking about people who need beds over time and of the 3,500 beds in the Gaza Strip, 2,000 are in the North. According to the WHO, out of 72 centers health centers, 51 are closed. The provision of care is reduced. Only a ceasefire can make it possible to organize relief in this situation.”he concludes.

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