A physician without borders

Ärzte ohne Grenzen Logo
of physicians without borders Logo

of physicians without borders is the name of the German-language sections of the 1971 created international organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). The private relief organization carries medical help in need out in theaters of war and crisis.

The aid projects are different nature and are enough from (again) the structure of Hospitals over the production from wells to the simple clearing-up of the population. Most coworkers are physicians and care forces, in addition, representatives of other occupations support the organization actively. The international network of Médecins Sans Frontières/physicians without borders consists of sections in 19 countries.

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physicians without borders works always independently, impartially and dependent on the concrete employment situation also as neutrally as possible. Only like that it is in the opinion possible for the organization,to carry out in crisis regions effectively humanitarian assistance. In addition, MSF sees the Witnessing (a “witness to be”) in the context of the medical help in need as an important task. Witnessing means, if necessary, to make attentive on peoples in emergency. On the basis reports of the coworkers locally becomes in thatMSF operations center decided, which measures are to be seized. Possible actions are: Discussions with responsible persons, Lobbying or public clearing-up campaigns, in the worst case even the retreat from an operational area. In the opinion of MSF is necessary between Witnessing and neutrality in the practical humanitarian work perhaps a consideration,those a task of the neutrality in individual cases makes necessary. This view to the neutrality differentiates MSF fundamentally from the neutrality of the international committee practiced strictly of the red cross (IKRK), from whose employment experiences MSF developed. MSF is always impartial, after the words of the joint founder Berne pool of broadcasting corporations Kouchner,but not always neutrally.

The humanitarian work of MSF for the victims of emergency and force was particularly honoured 1999 by the award of the Nobel peace prize.

“The Norwegian Nobel committee assigned decided, the Nobel peace prize 1999 to physicians without borders too, in acknowledgment of the innovative humanitarian workthis organization on several continents.” (The Nobel Foundation)


conditions 2005 gives it to 19 MSF sections in different countries. MSF is active in over 70 countries.

history of the organization

the physicians without borders 20 became to. December 1971 as MédecinsSans Frontières of young French physicians based, who had been on behalf the IKRK for the French red cross before in use. These were before to be able to help disappointed from the limited possibilities from the civil war in Biafra and from from a tide disaster the concerned Bangladesh returned. The founders of MSF regarded in particular the beginning of the IKRK to practice to neutrality in the employment discretely and under all circumstances as limiting for an effective assistance. According to their opinion neutrality should have their borders, if from one in a conflict substantial took part sideOffences against the human rights and/or humanitarian international law to be committed. In such a case also humanitarian aids must their neutral attitude up to give be able and these offences if necessary publicly bring up for discussion, in order to reach an intervention of other states or organizations in this way according to opinion of the MSF founders.

1976 reached the organization the attention of a larger public by the employment in a quarter of Beirut (Lebanon ), Shiite of Christian militias included. In the year 1979 the joint founder Berne pool of broadcasting corporations Kouchner left and some the further organization and created Médecins you moons (MDM).1980 were created in Belgium the second MSF section, 1981 followed a further section with seat in Geneva. 1993 received the organization from the UN-Hochkommissariat for refugees the Nansen medal. The German section of physicians without borders registered association.in the same year one based. 1985 became representative thatOrganization from Ethiopia referred, after the French section the suppression of humanitarian assistance as well as obligation resettlements by the Mengistu - regime had publicly criticized. Due to the pressure of the international attention as well as due to the menace of the blockage funds by the most important giver countries the regime gave in. In the year1989 died with a firing of a pilot without borders - airplane with a rocket in the Sudan beside other victims of two coworkers. The organization left thereupon the south Sudan until 1992.

1990 were murdered in Afghanistan a MSF logistician. The organization interrupted thereupon the activities inCountry until 1992. 1993 came it to a sharp condemnation of the proceeding of the United Nations into Somalia, since humanitarian principles were hurt. In the same year the organization stopped the activity in the Iraqi Kurdistan after the murder of a Handicap international - coworker.

1994 became in Vienna the office of the Austrian section of physicians without borders furnished. In the same year had delegated by MSF to Rwanda to those there active delegation of the IKRK to be taken up, in order to protect they against the threat by Hutu extremists in the context of the genocide beginning. The MSF coworkers carriedand explained themselves the emblem of the red cross ready to be active according to the employment rules of the IKRK since this was in the context of the local conditions the only effective protection from a possible murder. The proceeding of MSF, offences against the human rights and the humanitarianInternational law to bring up for discussion and humanitarian assistance thereby arrange more effective, was pushed in this use to its borders. One year later the coworkers of the organization with 37 further humanitarian organizations from Rwanda were referred. One had before the blood bath by Rwandese troops in the refugee camp Kibeho criticized. To 10. December 1999 was lent to the organization for its work the Nobel peace prize.

In the year 2001 two coworkers were kidnapped. One of them was released after six month's kidnapping in Colombia intact again, a further coworker in Chechnya became released after one month again. 2002in Dagestan of the MSF coworkers Arjan Erkel was kidnapped and released in May 2004 after 20 months. To 2. June 2004 in Afghanistan five coworkers (Belgian, Norwegian, one Dutchman and two Afghans) in an ambush of the Taliban were killed. MSF sees one of the causesfor this assassination attempt in already the instrumentalization criticized before it and the abuse of humanitarian assistance for political purposes by the coalition troops under US-American leadership. Thus for example Afghans were requested by means of handbills to supply information about the Taliban and aluminium Kaida over further humanitarian assistanceto receive. Due to this incident and the nevertheless continuing abuse by the coalition troops the organization placed the work in Afghanistan to 28. July 2004 after 24-jähriger activity.

In the year 2005 the physicians without borders criticized the United Nations sharply: one has the hunger disaster in The Niger too late to the public carried, until today hundredthousands of the Dürre are concerned.

see also

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