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Encyclopedia > Médecins Sans Frontières

Médecins Sans Frontières (abbreviated MSF; known as Doctors Without Borders in English) is a nonprofit private organisation created in 1971 by a small group of French doctors led by Bernard Kouchner. The organisation was founded in the belief that all people have the right to medical care and that their need is more important than national borders. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) logo, sourced from http://www. ... 1971 is a common year starting on Friday (click for link to calendar). ... Bernard Kouchner, born on November 1, 1939 in Avignon is a French politician and a doctor. ...


MSF provides medical care in case of emergency and for the treatment of endemic diseases. It is active in more than 80 countries worldwide, particularly in poor third-world nations, and those states in war. MSF has frequently protested to the United Nations against atrocities on behalf of local communities, such as those accuring in Chechnya and Kosovo. For the Jamaican reggae band, see Third World (band). ... The United Nations, or UN, is an international organization established in 1945 and now made up of 191 states. ... The Chechen Republic (Russian: Чеченская Республика; Chechen: Нохчийн Республика/Noxçiyn Respublika), also known as Chechnya (Russian: Чечня, Chechen: Нохчичьо/Noxçiyçö), Chechnia or Chechenia, is a constituent republic of the Russian Federation. ... Kosovo (disambiguation). ...


MSF has received much recognition for its work, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999. MSF consists of both volunteer and permanently employed staff and is funded by contributions from the general public, nonprofit organisations, corporations and governments. Nobel Peace Prize (where Nobel is pronounced with the stress on the second syllable) is one of five Nobel Prizes requested by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel. ... 1999 is a common year starting on Friday of the Common Era, and was designated the International Year of Older Persons by the United Nations. ...


Carlo Urbani was formerly the president of the group's Italian chapter; he died of severe acute respiratory syndrome in March 2003. Carlo Urbani (October 19, 1956 - March 29, 2003) was an Italian physician and the first to identify severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) as a new disease. ... President is a title held by many leaders of organizations, companies, universities, and countries. ... Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is an atypical form of pneumonia. ... 2003 : January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December - → A timeline of events in the news for March, 2003. ...


Dangers

Aside from injuries and death associated with war zones and epidemic areas, MSF sometimes faces dangers for political reasons, such as:


Arjan Erkel, head of MSF's Northern Caucasus mission, was kidnapped in the Russian republic of Dagestan and held hostage from August 12, 2002 until April 11, 2004. Arjan Erkel (born March 9, 1970) is a Dutch medical aid worker and was head of the relief mission for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Dagestan, a constituent republic of the Russian Federation. ... The Caucasus is a region in West Asia between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea which includes the Caucasus mountains and surrounding lowlands. ... The Republic of Dagestan ( Russian: Респу́блика Дагеста́н) is a federal subject of the Russian Federation (a republic). ... August 12 is the 224th day of the year (225th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 2002 is a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... April 11 is the 101st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (102nd in leap years). ... 2004 is a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


On June 2, 2004, five workers were killed in an ambush near Khair Khana in Badghis province in Afghanistan: Afghans Fasil Ahmad and Besmillah, Belgian Helene de Beir, Norwegian Egil Tynaes, and Dutchman Willem Kwint. Mullah Abdul Hakim Latifi, a spokesman for the Taliban, took responsibility for the attack. On 28 July, MSF pulled out of Afghanistan because of this incident and other security issues. In their press statement the organisation criticised both the Taliban and the U.S. military [1] (http://www.msf.org/countries/page.cfm?articleid=8851DF09-F62D-47D4-A8D3EB1E876A1E0D). They criticised the Taliban for targeting aid workers and stated: "This threat undeniably constitutes a refusal by the Taliban to accept independent and impartial humanitarian action." Of the U.S. military, the press release said: June 2 is the 153rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (154th in leap years), with 212 days remaining. ... Badghis province is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. ... Egil Tynæs was a Norwegian doctor working for the humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières. ... The Netherlands (Dutch: Nederland) is the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (Dutch: Koninkrijk der Nederlanden). ... The Taliban (Pashtun and Persian: طالبان; students of Islam), also transliterated as Taleban, is an Islamist movement which ruled most of Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001, despite having diplomatic recognition from only three countries: the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. ... July 28 is the 209th day (210th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 156 days remaining. ...

"The violence directed against humanitarian aid workers has come in a context in which the US backed coalition has consistently sought to use humanitarian aid to build support for its military and political ambitions. MSF denounces the coalition's attempts to co-opt humanitarian aid and use it to 'win hearts and minds'. By doing so, providing aid is no longer seen as an impartial and neutral act, endangering the lives of humanitarian volunteers and jeopardizing the aid to people in need. Only recently, on May 12, 2004, MSF publicly condemned the distribution of leaflets by the coalition forces in southern Afghanistan in which the population was informed that providing information about the Taliban and al Qaeda was necessary if they wanted the delivery of aid to continue."

Paul Foreman, head of the MSF's Dutch wing, was arrested in Sudan in May 2005 for refusing to divulge documents used in compiling a report on rapes carried out by the pro-government Janjaweed militias (see Darfur conflict). Foreman cited the privacy of the women involved, and the MSF alleged Sudan had arrested him because it disliked the bad publicity generated by the report. The United Nations special representative to Sudan, Jan Pronk, echoed similar sentiments. May 12 is the 132nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (133rd in leap years). ... 2004 is a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Osama bin Laden Ayman al-Zawahiri Al-Qaeda (Arabic: القاعدة - al-Qāidah, the foundation or the base) is the name given to a worldwide network and alliance of militant Islamist organizations. ... Janjaweed The Janjaweed (variously spelled Janjawid, Jingaweit, Jinjaweed, Janjawiid, Janjiwid, etc. ... The Darfur conflict is an ongoing conflict in the Darfur region of western Sudan, mainly between the Janjaweed, a government-supported militia recruited from local Arab tribes, and the non-Arab peoples of the region. ... The United Nations, or UN, is an international organization established in 1945 and now made up of 191 states. ... Johannnes Pieter Pronk (The Hague 16 March 1940), better known as Jan Pronk, is a Dutch politician. ...


Related articles

Humanitarian aid is assistance given to people in distress by individuals, organisations, or governments to relieve suffering. ... The following is a timeline of key events in the history of humanitarian aid, international relief and development aid. ... Humanitarian aid workers belonging to UN organisations, PVOs / NGOs or the Red Cross / Red Crescent have traditionally enjoyed both international legal protection, and de facto immunity from attack by belligerent parties. ...

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