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The Thai government should halt all forced repatriation proceedings against the 7,500 ethnic Hmong refugees from Laos who are currently confined to a camp in northern Thailand's Petchabun province. This is the call today from the international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF). The refugees, who claim to have fled violence and persecution in Laos, are deeply fearful of being returned to their country.

Following a magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck China’s southwestern province of Sichuan on Monday, 2.28pm local time, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) will today dispatch its first medical teams to one of the worst hit areas. According to state media, China’s most devastating earthquake in 30 years left nearly 10,000 dead and scores more are feared dead or injured.

Two days after a powerful earthquake hit Sichuan Province in southwestern China, the confirmed death toll nears 15,000 and thousands of people remain trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings, according to provincial authorities.

MSF teams working in China’s quake-hit areas

A week after a 7.9 magnitude earthquake killed a reported 32,000 and left up to 4.8 million people homeless in China’s southwestern Sichuan province, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has now provided over 210 tonnes of relief supplies as well as medical assistance to the survivors. Reinforced by an enormous outpouring of material and financial support by private citizens and local communities throughout China, as well as offers of additional aid from abroad, the Chinese government’s response to the disaster has so far been swift and massive.

The Chinese government is now estimating that over 5 million have been left homeless by the 8.0-magnitude earthquake that devastated parts of the country’s Sichuan province 12 days ago. A total of 34 MSF team members are now in the affected region and have been carrying out assessments, providing surgical and basic medical care, as well as mental health services, and donating tents and medicines to the relief effort. The local, regional, and national response has been enormous, but some of the needs, especially in the area of shelter, remain.

Interview with Tony Marchant, outgoing emergency coordinator in Chengdu, Sichuan Province  What are the main needs of the people in Sichuan today? Following extensive assessments in the affected region, MSF teams have found that the response in terms of food, water, sanitation and hygiene is largely adequate in most places. Over 5 million have been left homeless by the quake, so the need for shelter is tremendous.

Médecins Sans Frontières calls again for immediate halt of forced repatriations and access to the deported Hmong for medical assistance

Weak, dehydrated and traumatized, the Rohingya people stepping off the boats that make it to Thailand’s shores tells an alarming story. This is a story that begins across the Andaman Sea, the sea that the Rohingya risk their lives to cross, in the western most state of Myanmar. Here, the Rohingya, a minority Muslim ethnic group, have suffered decades of restriction and indignity that has led countless people to flee across the border to neighbouring Bangladesh and further afield.

MSF denounces the policy of forced repatriation of the Hmong population of Huai Nam Khao camp back to Laos, and refuses to work under military pressure

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