Last updated 17 February 2017

Three years after withdrawing its teams from Somalia, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) plans to resume work in the country in April 2017.

Somali and international MSF staff intend to start providing support to Mudug regional hospital, Galkayo North, in Somalia's Puntland region. This should include support to the hospital's emergency room, in-patient department, paediatric ward and therapeutic feeding programme.

Since withdrawing its staff, MSF has continuously monitored the situation in Somalia to assess whether conditions allow its staff to operate safely, and its patients and health facilities to be respected and protected of violent attacks.

MSF began working in Somalia in 1991 but pulled out from the country in August 2013 following a series of extreme attacks on its staff. At the time, MSF called upon the authorities, community leaders and other influential stakeholders in the Somali society to demonstrate through their actions willingness and ability to facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance to the Somali people and respect for the safety of the humanitarian aid workers who risk their lives to care for them. MSF reiterates today the need to respect and support its medical mission in Somalia.

For these reasons, MSF's return to Somalia will be subject to a careful approach, taking one step at a time. The planned MSF medical and humanitarian programmes in Puntland will be of a limited scale for now. MSF's presence in Somalia, the scope of its programmes and the potential expansion of its activities to other regions in Somalia will depend on the acceptance, facilitation and active support received from the authorities and communities MSF serves.

Read below the last activity report (2013 International Activity Report)

Activities  2013 International Activity Report


Key medical figures: 

  • 318,400 outpatient consultations
  • 6,150 births assisted
  • 15,600 patients treated in feeding centres
  • 28,600 routine vaccinations

In August 2013, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) closed all of its projects in Somalia after 22 years of continuous operations.

Leaving Somalia was an extremely difficult decision to make. A series of violent attacks on MSF personnel took place with the tacit acceptance – or active complicity – of armed groups and civilian authorities. The minimal conditions necessary for operations were not respected, and hence MSF ceased supporting health facilities in Somalia by mid-September 2013, handing them over to government entities and humanitarian organisations where possible.

Although the humanitarian situation has improved since the nutritional crisis of 2011, the ongoing conflict in the south-central regions, together with natural disasters and seasonal outbreaks of disease, put huge strains on the weak healthcare system. In many parts of Somalia, access to healthcare is extremely limited and mortality rates for pregnant women and young children are among the highest in the world. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis remain displaced inside the country and in refugee camps across Somalia’s borders, living a precarious existence exposed to many forms of violence and extortion.

MSF did not want to leave Somalia but was left with little choice, and continues to support Somali refugees in Ethiopia, Kenya and Yemen.

In and around Mogadishu
Nine kilometres northwest of Mogadishu, in Dayniile, MSF supported a 60-bed hospital with an emergency room, operating theatre, intensive care unit, paediatric unit, feeding centre and maternity facilities. The team performed 646 surgical procedures and over 8,272 consultations in 2013.

MSF’s 40-bed hospital in the Jaziira district of Mogadishu, which mostly catered to displaced populations, carried out some 25,700 consultations and 2,200 hospital admissions this year, and treated over 330 severely malnourished children.

To improve access to quality basic and specialist healthcare for children, MSF ran the only paediatric hospital in Mogadishu, in Hamar Weyne. The hospital had isolation wards for children suffering from measles or acute watery diarrhoea and a nutrition centre that treated 3,800 children between January and August.

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No. staff in 2013: 1,188. MSF first worked in the country in 1979. 

Finances  2013 International Financial Report

Concept In thousands of €
Programmes 21,197
Indirect supply costs 285
Field-related expenses 21,482
Locally hired staff 11,549
International staff 3,071
Operational running expenses 811
Medical and nutrition 2755
Logistics and sanitation 508
Transport, freight and storage 2,253
Training and local support 1
Consultants and field support 170
Private and public institutional grants -
Others 79
Concept In thousands of €
Public institutional income 150
Funding of field-related costs 21,482
Private and other income 21,332
Humanitarian Aid Office of the European Commission (ECHO) 150
ECHO and EU institutions 150
EU governments -
Non-EU European governments -
North American governments -
Other governments -
UN institutions -
Staff information
Concept In full-time equivalents
Field positions 1,188
National staff 1,143
International staff 45


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