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Conflict erupted in Tigray, Ethiopia in November 2020 with devastating consequences for civilians. Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes mainly in Western Tigray, many of whom are now camped on school grounds and other makeshift sites in Shire and other towns to the east. People have been forcibly detained and abused both physically and psychologically. Peoples’ belongings have been stolen and their means of livelihood destroyed. The healthcare system has also been systematically obliterated. 

In this context, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams have been providing medical care in camps for the displaced and via mobile medical teams, moving daily into smaller towns and villages where most people have not had access to healthcare for months.

MSF Executive Director Joseph Belliveau spent five weeks in March-April as a project coordinator for MSF’s mobile medical teams in Northwest Tigray. He shares his journal over the course of one week.

Joe Belliveau, MSF Canada Executive Director

To protect communities and individuals affected by the conflict as well as MSF staff, some place and person names have been changed.

This blog series was written before the horrific murder of three MSF colleagues who were working in Tigray. No words can truly convey all our sadness, shock and outrage against this attack. We send our deepest condolences to their families of Maria Hernandez, Yohannes Halefom Reda and Tedros Gebremariam Gebremichael.

Read Joe’s journal from Tigray