Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Desperately sad news that Medecins Sans Frontieres is pulling out of Afghanistan after 24 years of working there.

MSF says the Afghan authorities have failed in their responsibilities following the murder of five of its aid workers last month.

MSF, an organisation which has no agenda other than to provide health care to the needy, also has extremely harsh words for the way the US-backed coalition has allegedly tried to use humanitarian organisations as part of the propaganda war:

"MSF denounces the coalition’s attempts to co-opt humanitarian aid and use it to "win hearts and minds." By doing so, providing aid is no longer seen as an impartial and neutral act, endangering the lives of humanitarian volunteers and jeopardizing the aid to people in need.

"Only recently, on May 12, 2004, MSF publicly condemned the distribution of leaflets by the coalition forces in southern Afghanistan in which the population was informed that providing information about the Taliban and al Qaeda was necessary if they wanted the delivery of aid to continue."