MSF Movement

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is a worldwide movement. We are owned and run by our staff, past and present. Collectively, they make sure that MSF stays true to its mission and principles.

Our donors are a vital part of the movement — your generosity and support helps fund everything we do, with almost 90 per cent of our income coming from individual donations. This allows us to stay independent, neutral and impartial — and to quickly access those in greatest need.

We have helped millions of people since MSF was established in 1971. The movement has grown and we now work in more than 70 countries around the world, with teams ready for any new emergency.

MSF sections

MSF Austria, like the other 18 main MSF national offices across the globe, works with the OCs (Operational Centres) to recruit staff and raise the money needed to provide care where it is needed most. The national offices also provide specialist technical support and speak out on behalf of the people we are helping. MSF International has its offices in Geneva, as does the MSF Access Campaign. There is a UN liaison office in New York. Three specialized public health centres — Epicentre, Aedes and HealthNet — work with MSF to help expand expertise in specialist medical issues. Other units, including supply centres and medical units, also support our field work.

Operational Centres

There are five operational centres that decide when, where and what medical care is needed. These centres are based in Brussels, Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Geneva. The OCs can act independently but all layers of MSF interconnect and work together, and are formally bound as one movement by a shared name, a shared commitment to the MSF Charter and principles, and shared membership in MSF International.

International office

The International office in Geneva is the focal point for the other MSF offices and is where important joint decisions are made. Our international president is Christos Christou. Before this, he held a number of roles in the field with MSF and with the Association in MSF Greece. Dr Christou joined MSF in 2002, where his first assignment was in Greece as a field doctor, working with migrants and refugees, before working as a doctor in an HIV/AIDS project in Zambia in 2004 and 2005. After a break from field missions for a number of years while he trained as a surgeon, from 2013 he joined MSF missions in a number of conflict zones and insecure contexts, including South Sudan, Iraq and, most recently, Cameroon, as an emergency and trauma surgeon.

MSF Associations

Present or former MSF employees or volunteers define and guide MSF’s social mission through the MSF associations. There are 23 MSF associations around the world. You can read more about how MSF associations work on their international website.

Other MSF projects

MSF Access Campaign

The MSF Access Campaign was set up in 1999 to push for access to, and development of, life-saving and life-prolonging medicines, diagnostic tests and vaccines for patients in our programs and beyond. We started this project using the prize money from the Nobel Peace Prize, which MSF was awarded in 1999. Find out more on the Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines website.

Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) 

For more than 40 years, MSF has directly witnessed the human cost of the lack of drugs for neglected diseases and has raised its voice against this inequity. In 2003, seven organizations from around the world joined forces to establish the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi).