Why are we there?

  • Social violence
  • Healthcare exclusion

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Our work

This is an extract from our latest Activity Report, looking back on our work in the previous year.


There was an increase in violence against sub-Saharan migrants in Morocco in 2012, with Moroccan security forces making daily raids in the cities of Oujda and Nador.

As it has become increasingly difficult to reach Europe, Morocco has become the final destination for many sub-Saharan Africans. Without permission to work or access to basic social services, they are forced to live in unstable and insecure conditions.

Sub-Saharan migrants

Access to basic healthcare is granted by law, however, and more migrants are getting medical care in Oujda, although the situation in Nador is less positive. Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) teams in both cities helped 2,300 migrants access services in 2012.

Increased violence by Moroccan and Spanish security forces also led MSF to resume direct medical consultations. Staff treated 1,100 people for violence-related injuries.

In Nador, near the Spanish territory of Melilla, MSF ran monthly mobile clinics throughout 2012, after a year of being denied access to the city. The team also distributed relief items, including hygiene kits, blankets, plastic sheeting and clothing, to migrants living in forests on the outskirts of Nador and Oujda.

Activities in Nador were handed over to the Migration Division of the Archbishopric of Tangier at the end of the year.

Assisting victims of sexual violence

Migrants in Morocco have experienced alarming levels of sexual violence. MSF works with a local association, Fondation Orient Occident, assisting victims. More than 60 people received medical assistance at the centre in Oujda.

In the capital city of Rabat, MSF completed the handover of its programme to treat victims of sexual violence to the Association de Lutte contre le SIDA.

At the end of 2012, MSF had 35 staff in Morocco. MSF has been working in the country since 1997.

Patient story

Sidy*, 22 years old, from Mali, is living in Oujda forest

They hit me with batons. I wanted to run, but they hit me and I fell down. They started hitting me again. I tried to protect my head and they broke my arms. I've tried to cross [into Melilla] 10 times. I've been beaten three times, but this time it was very serious.

* The patient’s name has been changed

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