The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Tim Shenk,Press Officer,Direct: 212-763-5764,E-mail:,

Condition: Critical

MSF Launches International Initiative Highlighting Plight of Civilians Caught in Eastern Congo’s War


The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without
Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) today launched
"Condition:Critical," a multimedia initiative aiming to bring global
attention to the humanitarian consequences of the intensifying war in
eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Through testimonies, photos, and video, Condition: Critical goes
beyond headlines and news reports to document how civilians are
struggling to survive in Congo's North and South Kivu provinces, the
front lines of a long-running war, where violence, displacement, and
sexual violence are mainstays of daily life.

The video feature is built around photographs taken by World Press
Photo laureate Cedric Gerbehaye, who worked with MSF in the region for
close to a year.

Condition: Critical is online at:
The website will be regularly updated to provide fresh news and material in an effort to keep the crisis in the spotlight.

MSF has been working in North and South Kivu since 1992, and in the
Democratic Republic of Congo since 1981. MSF medical teams carry out
emergency surgery, treat injuries including gunshot wounds and burns,
run mobile clinics to reach those who have fled to safer, more remote
areas, provide health care in hospitals and health centers, treat
diseases such as cholera, provide medical care to victims of sexual
violence, and provide psychological support to those traumatized by
what they have experienced.

MSF has increased its emergency response in the region to cope with
the deteriorating situation. It is currently working in Goma and other
parts of North and South Kivu including Rutshuru, Kibati, Kirotshe,
Kiwanja, Buhimba, Masisi, Kitchanga, Mweso, Nyanzale, Kayna, Bukavu,
Minova, and Kalonge.

MSF remains extremely concerned for the hundreds of thousands of
people still on the move who are continuously fleeing ongoing fighting.
Many of the displaced and local residents continue to be in urgent need
of food, clean water, health care, and basic items such as blankets,
hygiene kits, and shelter materials.

In addition, the recent fighting has led to an increase in the
number of cholera patients, with cases now being documented in places
where cholera is not normally a major health threat. Risk factors for
contracting cholera include poor sanitation, lack of clean water, the
constant movement of populations, and crowded conditions in displaced

Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) is an international medical humanitarian organization created by doctors and journalists in France in 1971. MSF's work is based on the humanitarian principles of medical ethics and impartiality. The organization is committed to bringing quality medical care to people caught in crisis regardless of race, religion, or political affiliation. MSF operates independently of any political, military, or religious agendas.