Médecins Sans Frontières Australia
Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons

Fleeing from conflict

When families have lost everything, your donation can prevent them from losing their lives.

Refugees walking for days in the heat from conflict in Sudan. Many died along the way from dehydration.
Refugees walking for days in the heat from conflict in Sudan. Many people died along the way from dehydration.
© Louise Roland-Gosselin
In a refugee crisis, large numbers of people are driven from their homes, usually to save their lives – in other words, they have little choice but to flee. People who are displaced because of conflict may have witnessed atrocities or been victims of violence.

All refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) will have lost their homes, at least temporarily, and very often relatives, friends and neighbours as well. Find out more about the experiences of displaced people like Grace and Sheik Osman.

What problems do refugees and IDPs face?

Refugees wait to be allocated shelters at an IDP camp in Kenya in 2008.
Refugees wait to be allocated shelters at an IDP camp in Kenya in 2008. © Brendan Bannon
It can take days, weeks or even months for refugees and IDPs to arrive at a settlement or refugee camp. As well as the trauma caused by their displacement, they often have multiple health issues. These may be infectious diseases contracted before or after arrival at the camp, or medical conditions such as malnutrition or dehydration as a result of their arduous journey.

The main causes of serious health problems and loss of life among refugees and displaced populations are measles, diarrhoeal diseases, acute respiratory infections, malnutrition and, in areas where it is endemic, malaria. Each of these conditions can leave young children at high risk of death.

Expert medical care is vital

Médecins Sans Frontières is providing medical assistance to thousands of refugees and IDPs in places like Kenya, Lebanon, Yemen and South Sudan. But with hundreds more families arriving in refugee camps and settlements each day, we know we need to do more.

Like all our emergency medical programs, our work in this area depends on people like you. By making a donation today, you'll help deliver the expert medical care that Médecins Sans Frontières can provide to people in need.

Next: Find out what the medical priorities are in refugee crises

How can I help?

We rely on the kindness of people like you to provide emergency medical assistance to men, women and children in urgent need. Please make a donation to help Médecins Sans Frontières' patients, even in the most challenging situations.
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