What we do

MSF nurse Josiane Wonzou stabilizes a patient in the sorting room of the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Communautaire (CHUC) of Bangui, in the Central African Republic, where MSF runs the advanced HIV unit. “I really like this work and I want to be by the side of these sick people that have no hope left,” says Josiane. “People think that for them it is already over, they think they are abandoned. But there is hope.”

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) doctors, nurses, logisticians, project managers and many other professionals work together to deliver critical healthcare to people facing crises in more than 75 countries around the world. 

Our work includes emergency medical response for:

People on the move

MSF responds to the medical needs of people who have been displaced by delivering critical humanitarian care and speaking out about the underlying causes of their suffering. 

War, persecution, conflict, and disasters are some reasons why people flee their homes and live in situations of short or long-term displacement, where it can be difficult to meet their basic needs, including for healthcare.  

Some people are internally displaced, staying within their country. Others have crossed a national border and will apply for protection as refugees. Undocumented migrants are another group of ‘people on the move’ who are often taken advantage of and suffer abuse and discrimination. 


With over 50 years of experience working in disasters, MSF has developed tools to provide rapid relief and critical medical assistance and coordinate with local authorities and first responders – sending surgical kits, essential hygiene items, medical and mental health staff, and even entire mobile hospitals.

From local emergencies to large-scale catastrophes, our network of staff in more than 75 countries and supply centres around the world mean we can respond quickly. An earthquake, tsunami, flood, or hurricane can have a devastating impact on entire communities. People may be injured, homes and livelihoods destroyed and access to clean water and healthcare disrupted. 

Conflict and war

MSF provides healthcare during conflict based on needs alone and works with communities to reach people most in need of help.

Armed conflict devastates the lives of individuals, families, and communities. Civilians are forced to flee or to live with lack of safety and security, increasing health stress. Access to basic needs such as livelihoods, food and clean water can be disrupted, leaving people facing hardship and increased poverty. Medical supplies often run short, healthcare staff numbers are depleted, and national health systems can fracture – all at a time when comprehensive medical and humanitarian support is critical for survival.

Diseases, epidemics and pandemics

MSF emergency teams are prepared with supplies and the know-how to respond quickly to disease outbreaks, coordinating with local responders to provide medical care including preventive care, while advocating for equitable access. Mass outbreaks of cholera, Ebola, measles and COVID-19 have exposed inequities in access and affordability, and shaken healthcare systems across many countries.

The most at-risk people are mainly those living in precarious conditions such as poverty, armed conflict and mass displacement, where healthcare systems are unreliable and medical services limited or non-existent. 

(L) Titie Tshikanda, Educational Counselor and (R) Dr. Gisele Mucinya, Medical Officer exchange with patients during a sensitization campaign that provides public awareness to patients living with HIV while providing different strategies for community-based care and detailed treatment for HIV/AIDS, STIs, and TB that encourage more patients to be on treatment earlier or adhere to treatment in the long-term.


See some of the main areas where MSF believes action can make a difference and help deliver essential medical care.

Asylbaeva Perizat, MSF psychologist, 45 yo. I am working for the first time with MSF, earlier I worked in many organizations and projects. I have an experience in an emergency project for Dacha-suu (accident with airplane crush on village, many people died, we were working on rehabilitation of the affected population. At first we worked with the MSF in Batken with the displaced population in a hotel and schools. After the displaced population began to be sent to their villages, we moved our activities in the affected villages and tent camps. Basically, people here are worried about high level of anxiety, there are flashbacks in the form of sounds of shots, mortars. People do not sleep well, they have constant fear and anxiety. Many people have high blood pressure, headaches and severe irritability in the context of stress. People are constantly in a state of hypervigilance and a constant readiness to run if there is treat. They sleep shallowly, restlessly, if there is little rustle or sound, they immediately wake up. They have nightmares in a form of dead pets and burnt property. We are not only providing psychological assistance, but if there is an opportunity, then social assistance. For example, there are several cases when we provided targeted help. One woman did not have the finances to visit her children, for many years she did not see them. I found a fund that paid for her travel to Bishkek, to see her kids. Another woman lost all the money that her children had earned a saved through hard work and over the years, about 3 million soms in cash, children saved this money, working without rest in Russia in order to build a new house in their homeland and it was simply burnt in a matter of minutes, her house was also destroyed. Lately she has thoughts about suicide: she is experiencing anxiety and depression that she could not save the money of her children. Uch-Dobo family medical center, Batken Oblast, Kyrgyzstan.

Issues in focus

Learn about some of the humanitarian crises and topics of concern to us today.

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