Why are we here?

Healthcare exclusion | Natural disaster

  • More than 1,200 Haitians, who had fled the devastation of the earthquake of January 2010 and sought asylum in Brazil, were stranded.
  • They were not allowed to work or leave Tabatinga until they received authorisation, and this was taking months. Many were living in extremely poor conditions. 

Psychological Support

  • In mid-November, MSF began offering psychological support and distributed washing kits.
  • On 11 January 2012, the Brazilian Ministry of Justice announced that some 4,000 Haitians who had arrived in the country since the earthquake would be granted residence and work visas.
  • The federal government also adopted a clear policy aimed at regularising the situation of the Haitians in Brazil, and opened up legal migration opportunities from Haiti. With the improvement in the situation, the programme was closed in February 2012. Many Haitians left Tabatinga for the city of Manaus and a MSF team also supported the response by giving training in mental healthcare and health promotion to health staff and social workers in Manaus.


  • In January, heavy floods and landslides affected an area north of Rio de Janeiro, leaving thousands homeless.
  • MSF provided training to more than 150 psychologists in four towns on how to support survivors of natural disasters.
  • MSF also lobbied for mental healthcare to be included in the overall disaster response.

For the latest news on where we work visit: http://activityreport.msf.org/ 

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) worked in the country in 1991 to 2012.