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Our history


MSF was founded in France in 1971 by a group of doctors and journalists who wanted to provide medical assistance and speak out about the suffering that they witnessed in their course of their work. 

 Their aim was to establish an independent organisation that focuses on delivering emergency medicine aid quickly, effectively and impartially.  Three hundred volunteers made up the organisation when it was founded: doctors, nurses and other staff, including the 13 founding doctors and journalists.

MSF was created in the belief that all people should have access to healthcare regardless of gender, race, religion, creed or political affiliation, and that people’s medical needs outweigh respect for national boundaries. MSF’s principles of action are described in our charter, which established a framework for our activities.

Today, we’re a worldwide movement of more than 67,500 people working in around 70 countries. 


Ethiopia: Tigray Crisis

People have been left without healthcare and tens of thousands have been displaced across Ethiopia and Sudan, following fighting that broke out in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia, in November 2020.

MSF teams are working on both sides of the border, providing assistance to people in refugees camps in Sudan, and to the displaced and host communities within Tigray in Ethiopia.

 Find out more