We are very concerned that so many of the displaced children have been out of school for three years or more. As a medical humanitarian organization we don’t provide schooling directly, but we now partner with education organizations to make sure the children are receiving the stimulation they need for their cognitive development and mental health. Finally, we now support winterization services and provide wound kits and training to hospital staff to manage mass casualties. The risks of epidemics in camps mean that we also provide vaccination against polio and other childhood diseases.
The trust between the UBS Optimus Foundation and Médecins Sans Frontières gives us a wonderful freedom to be needs-based. We are able to continually assess the needs of our patients, and then to tailor our response accordingly. This is really important in this ever-changing landscape.”
About Médecins Sans Frontières:
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare. MSF offers assistance to people based on need, irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation. The funding provided by the UBS Optimus Foundation in 2015 focused on providing health structures for births and neonatal care for newborn babies, as well as emergency response services for up to 40,000 internally displaced people in Syria.
(This interview was first published in our Annual Review)