Medecins Sans Frontieres – MSF

 G'day guys,

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation 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.
Their actions are guided by medical ethics and the principles of independence and impartiality. 

A worldwide movement

MSF was founded in Paris, France in 1971. Its principles are described in the organisation's founding charter. It is a non-profit, self-governed organisation. Today, MSF is a worldwide movement of 23 associations.

Tens of thousands of health professionals, logistical and administrative staff – most of whom are hired locally – work on programmes in more than 60 countries worldwide.

Humanitarian action

MSF's work is based on humanitarian principles. They are committed to bringing quality medical care to people caught in crisis, regardless of race, religion or political affiliation. 
MSF operates independently. It conducts its own evaluations on the ground to determine people’s needs and more than 90 per cent of its overall funding comes from millions of private sources, not governments.

MSF is neutral. It does not take sides in armed conflicts, it provides care on the basis of need, and it pushes for independent access to victims of conflict as required under international humanitarian law.

Bearing witness and speaking out

MSF medical teams often witness violence, atrocities, and neglect in the course of their work, largely in regions that receive scant international attention.
At times, MSF may speak out publicly in an effort to bring a forgotten crisis to public attention, to alert the public to abuses occurring beyond the headlines, to criticise the inadequacies of the aid system, or to challenge the diversion of humanitarian aid for political interests.

MSF medical teams on the ground are in constant dialogue with local authorities, warring parties, and other aid agencies in an attempt to ensure the best possible medical care for patients and their communities and to reinforce the organisation's independence.
Quality medical care

MSF rejects the idea that poor people deserve third-rate medical care and strives to provide high-quality care to patients. In 1999, when MSF was awarded the
Nobel Peace Prize, the organisation announced the money would go towards raising awareness of and fighting against neglected diseases.

Through the
Access Campaign, and in partnership with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, this work has helped lower the price of HIV/AIDS treatment and has stimulated research and development for medicines to treat malaria and neglected diseases like sleeping sickness and kala azar.

Where funding comes from

More than 4.5 million individual donors around the world provide some 90 per cent of our funding. This helps to ensure operational independence and flexibility. The remaining funds come from governments and international organisations.

When it works in contexts where there are many parties to a conflict and humanitarian assistance is at risk of abuse, it relies solely on private donations to fund its activities. 

How funds are spent

MSF is a non-profit organisation and more than 80 per cent of their resources are allocated to humanitarian activities. The remaining 20 per cent is spent on management and administration, and reinvested in fundraising. 

The organisation maintains reserves that allow them to respond immediately to a crisis without having to wait for fundraising.
Financial control and transparency

The use of MSF funds is tightly controlled and the audited financial reports of all their national offices are publicly available.
The audited MSF International Financial Report provides a transparent global overview of MSF’s work. It defines the different categories of income and expenditure and shows how funds are raised and spent.


Some 30,000 Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) from all over the world provide assistance to people in crisis. They are doctors, nurses, midwives, surgeons, anaesthetists, epidemiologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, pharmacists, laboratory technicians, logistics experts, water and sanitation engineers, administrators and other support staff.

All staff are professionals who choose to work for MSF because of a commitment to and concern for people’s health and survival. More than 90 per cent are recruited in the countries where the programmes are, and they work with a small number of international staff.

In their executive offices, operations, communications, advocacy, fundraising, finance and human resources teams all contribute to making sure MSF provides effective medical assistance to the people who need it most. Specialised medical and logistical support departments ensure that innovations and advances in research are incorporated into their work in clinics and hospitals around the world.

Affiliated organisations

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) aims to bring the best medical care possible to some of the most disadvantaged people. But this is hindered by the high cost of medicines currently available, and the absence of appropriate diagnostic tools and treatments for many of the diseases that affect patients where MSF work.

In 1999, MSF set up the Access Campaign, aiming to improve access to existing medicines, diagnostics and vaccines by bringing prices down, and to stimulate research into the development of better treatments that are appropriate for their patients. The Access Campaign pushes for continued advances in medical practice and supports efforts in reshaping how medical research and development are funded. The aim is to stimulate medical innovation, so that doctors in MSF’s programmes and beyond are equipped to give their patients the care they need.

To learn more about the Access Campaign, visit www.msfaccess.org.

Sadly …

It is with great sadness that the international medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) marks one year since their two colleagues, Philippe Havet and Andrias Karel Keiluhu ("Kace"), were brutally murdered in Mogadishu.
Philippe, a 53-year-old emergency coordinator from Belgium, and Kace, a 44-year-old medical doctor from Indonesia, were working with MSF teams to provide emergency medical assistance to displaced and resident populations affected by the conflict in Somalia.


"Philippe and Kace are greatly missed and today we extend our heartfelt sympathy and condolences to their families and friends," said MSF General Director, Christopher Stokes.

Following their tragic murders, MSF decided to close two large medical centres in the Somali capital. However, MSF continues to operate 10 projects throughout Somalia and provides medical and humanitarian aid to thousands of Somali refugees in camps across the border in Ethiopia and Kenya.

Today, two other MSF employees, Blanca Thiebaut and Montserrat Serra, remain held against their will in Somalia after they were abducted from the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, on 13th October 2011. MSF once again condemns this act of violence and demands their immediate release.  

NB: You may wish to watch this video of  Christopher Stokes, General Director of MSF, in relation to the abuse of MSF doctors in Bahrain: 

  Clancy's comment: More strength to their arm!

I'm ...

1 comment:

  1. So glad to see your post on MSF Clancy. Apart from one or two overseas orphanages, they are the only charitable organization I contribute to. They do remarkable work and their volunteers are the greatest!
    June Collins.