NIGERIA—Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), an international nonprofit organization providing humanitarian medical care, has announced that it will withdraw medical humanitarian help to internally displaced people in Benue state, Nigeria, after six years of service.

This decision comes as MSF reassesses Nigeria’s medical needs, with the goal of strengthening its response capacities in other parts of the nation.

In their statement, MSF stated that basic healthcare and decentralized activities will be completed by the end of June, family planning and sexual and reproductive healthcare by the end of July, and comprehensive sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) treatment by the end of August.

However, MSF will continue to provide free, quality health services to vulnerable communities in other Nigerian states, including Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Katsina, Jigawa, Kano, Borno, Bauchi, Ebonyi, and Cross River.

Since launching operations in Benue state, MSF’s core mission has been to provide urgent medical humanitarian assistance in emergency contexts.

In 2018, MSF initiated an emergency response to address the medical and humanitarian needs of internally displaced people in Benue, following extreme violence that resulted in over 1,000 deaths and displaced hundreds of thousands.

Over the last six years, MSF has worked with the Ministry of Health to provide free access to a variety of basic healthcare services to displaced people in the Mbawa, Ortese, Naka, and Agagbe camps, as well as host communities.

Since May 1, 2018 to March 31, 2024, MSF medical teams has delivered 412,832 consultations and treated 223,871 patients.

MSF highlighted that in the summer of 2022, it observed an increase in SGBV cases among the displaced community, primarily affecting women and girls.

This highlighted the acute vulnerabilities faced by displaced people in Benue. In 2023, MSF admitted 1,731 people following instances of SGBV.

MSF expressed concern for the safety of women and girls in Benue, urging the Nigerian government and newly arrived international organizations to recognize the threat posed by SGBV and provide the necessary care for survivors.

The arrival of international organizations, including a new clinic supported by UNICEF and WHO operating in three camps since late 2023, will continue offering their services to displaced people in Benue state.

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