“What I’ve experienced is that I can’t know the future. I can’t know if anything that I do will change what happens tomorrow. I can’t know with certainty, but what I do know is that if I do nothing, nothing will change.”

Dr. James Orbinskiformer President of the MSF International Council

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is the world's leading independent international medical relief organization, implementing and managing medical projects in close to 70 countries worldwide and with national offices in 21 countries.

Our work focuses on emergency medical and humanitarian relief. We are guided by the principles of independence, neutrality and impartiality, as described in the MSF Charter. We implement our medical programs in areas where no health or sanitary systems exist, or where the current infrastructures have been overwhelmed by health needs.  In some countries, after immediate medical emergencies have passed, we adapt our programs to meet the long-term medical needs of the population.

For more than 40 years, we have been providing medical assistance to people affected by armed conflicts, natural disasters, disease epidemics, malnutrition crises and other emergencies. All of these types of situation call for the rapid deployment of  specialized medical and logistical expertise and equipment. We are renowned for our ability to respond quickly and for our efficient work in complicated crises.

The medical action we take comes in multiple forms:

  • Emergency healthcare, including surgery
  • Mass vaccination campaigns
  • Water and sanitation
  • Therapeutic and supplementary nutrition
  • Distribution of medicines and medical supplies
  • Training and health education
  • Organization or rehabilitation of health facilities
  • Medical assistance within existing health facilities

We observe neutrality in situations of conflict, and impartiality in the name of medical ethics. We maintain the right of people to access health care. To ensure our independence, the majority of our funding is provided by private donations from members of the public. Additional funding may come from foundations, governments and international institutions.

By providing medical humanitarian assistance, we act as witnesses and may speak out in public about the suffering of the people we assist. By bringing public attention to a crisis, we seek to alleviate human suffering and to restore dignity to individual human beings, regardless of race, identity, religion or political affiliation.