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.
Our actions are guided by medical ethics and the principles of neutrality and impartiality.
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 21 sections, 24 associations and various other offices. They are bound together by MSF International, based in Geneva, Switzerland, which provides coordination, information and support to the MSF Movement. Thousands of health professionals, logistical and administrative staff – most of whom are hired locally – work on programmes in some 69 countries worldwide.
MSF's work is based on humanitarian principles. We are committed to bringing quality medical care to people caught in crisis, regardless of race, religion or political affiliation.
MSF operates independently. We conduct our own evaluations on the ground to determine people’s needs. More than 90 per cent of our overall funding comes from millions of private sources, not governments.
MSF is neutral. We do not take sides in armed conflicts, we provide care on the basis of need, and we push for independent access to victims of conflict as required under international humanitarian law.
MSF brings humanitarian medical assistance to victims of conflict, natural disasters, epidemics or healthcare exclusion.
We offer basic healthcare, perform surgery, fight epidemics, rehabilitate and run hospitals and clinics, carry out vaccination campaigns, operate nutrition centres, and provide mental healthcare.
Our activities include the treatment of injuries and disease, maternal care and the provision of humanitarian aid. Where necessary, we set up sanitation systems, supply safe drinking water, and distribute relief to assist survival.
When we intervene
MSF's interventions involve medical teams addressing the most urgent health needs of people in crisis.
Our teams conduct independent evaluations to determine medical needs before deciding to open a programme. We analyse what assistance we can potentially bring, and we regularly question the pertinence of our presence or absence. We retain continuous and direct control over the management and delivery of our assistance for the duration of our activities.