Doctors Without Borders

by- Michael Gucciardo

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international medical
humanitarian organization created by doctors and journalists in France in 1971

A group of French doctors and journalists created MSF in the wake of the war and accompanying famine in Biafra, Nigeria, and the floods in eastern Pakistan (now Bangladesh)

What they do-

Today, MSF provides independent, impartial assistance in
more than 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 also reserves the
right to speak out to bring attention to neglected crises, challenge
inadequacies or abuse of the aid system, and to advocate for improved medical
treatments and protocols.


  • For example, in 1985, MSF spoke out against the Ethiopian government's forced
    displacement of hundreds of thousands of members of its own population. In
    1994, the organization took the unprecedented step of calling for an
    international military response to the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The following
    year, MSF condemned the Serbian massacre of civilians at Srebrenica, and four
    years after that, denounced the Russian military bombardment of the Grozny, the
    capital of Chechnya
  • More recently, MSF endeavored to bring greater scrutiny to
    the inadequate response of both the South African government and the United
    Nations High Commissioner for Refugees following xenophobic violence against
    Zimbabweans and other foreign African nationals; attempts to restrict the
    availability of generic medicines for people living with HIV/AIDS and other
    diseases; the hypocritical stance of nations who send nutrition-deficient
    products to developing nations and call it food aid; the need for a greater
    response to child malnutrition across the globe; the tendency to politicize and
    militarize humanitarian aid, as has happened in Afghanistan and Pakistan; and
    the inadequate response by the international aid system to the cholera crisis
    in Haiti.

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