Medecins sans Frontiere MSF – Doctors without Borders

Linked on our blogs with Urgent: Let Aid to Haiti Go Through.

  • Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international medical humanitarian organization created by doctors and journalists in France in 1971.
  • Today, MSF provides aid in nearly 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care, or natural disasters. MSF provides independent, impartial assistance to those most in need. MSF reserves the right to speak out to bring attention to neglected crises, to challenge inadequacies or abuse of the aid system, and to advocate for improved medical treatments and protocols … (about 1/2).

Homepage; Sitemap;
video presentation in english; work with MSF; Public events; Publications; Field News; Press; Donate;
Address: MSF, USA Headquarters, 333 7th Avenue, 2nd Floor, New York, NY  10001-5004, USA;
MSF Offices Worldwwide; Contact.

About 2/2: In 1999, MSF received the Nobel Peace Prize.  

Humanitarian Action:

MSF’s work is based on the humanitarian principles of medical ethics and impartiality. The organization is committed to bringing quality medical care to people caught in crisis regardless of race, religion, or political affiliation.

MSF operates independently of any political, military, or religious agendas. Medical teams conduct evaluations on the ground to determine a population’s medical needs before opening programs. The key to MSF’s ability to act independently in response to a crisis is its independent funding. Eighty-nine percent of MSF’s overall funding (and 100 percent of MSF-USA’s funding) comes from private sources, not governments. In 2006, MSF had more than three million individual donors and private funders worldwide.

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

MSF’s principles of action are described in the organization’s 1971 founding charter, which established a framework for its activities.

Bearing Witness & 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 criticize the inadequacies of the aid system, or to challenge the diversion of humanitarian aid for political interests.

In 1985, MSF spoke out against the Ethiopian government’s forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of its population; took the unprecedented step of calling for an international military response to the 1994 Rwandan genocide; condemned the Serbian massacre of civilians at Srebrenica in 1995; denounced the Russian bombardment of the Chechen capital, Grozny in 1999; and called for international attention to the crisis in Darfur in 2004 and 2005 at the United Nations Security Council.

In 2007, MSF called for international attention to the increased targeting of civilians in conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Chad, and Somalia; advocated for the widespread adoption of new protocols for the treatment of malnutrition to include the use of ready-to-use foods; challenged pharmaceutical company Novartis’s court case opposing the production of generic medicines in India, which produces an estimated 80 percent of the developing world’s medicines; and spoke out against the plan of the governments of Thailand and Laos threatened to forcibly return nearly 8,000 Hmong refugees to Laos.

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 organization’s operational independence.

Who is MSF? … (full long text).

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