Positioning, Politics and Pertinence
Natalie Roberts

among a plethora of scientific, public health, UN and humanitarian organisations, as well as the Congolese government and state institutions. Building on its long-standing presence in the region as well its prominent role in the response to the West African epidemic, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) positioned itself as a key response actor from the first day of the outbreak. Yet despite incorporating all the elements considered requisite for success, the Kivu response was

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Valérie Gorin

Save the Children or Oxfam used advocacy to raise criticism over power dynamics and resource allocations between the Global North and South, humanitarian advocacy gained more political attention because it also aims to increase protection, assistance, and access. The birth of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in 1971 and its use of témoignage questioned the principle of ‘speaking out’ and the witnessing status of the humanitarian worker. In the following conversation with Maria Guevara and Marc DuBois, we discuss witnessing strategies, visual evidence, and the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
The Politics of ‘Proximity’ and Performing Humanitarianism in Eastern DRC
Myfanwy James

the complexities of the brokerage work conducted by Congolese MSF staff working in a ‘field’ that is not a distant, liminal space, but their country (and region) of origin. They have complicated and heterogeneous political and social histories, networks and perceived identities in the areas where MSF works. This ‘proximity’ is a double-edged sword: local staff are essential to networking with armed actors and political authorities, as well as translating the meanings of policies and principles into practice, yet they find themselves either at risk, or perceived as a

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Hakim Khaldi

difficulties encountered. My analysis draws on a range of surveys and documentation. 1 I carried out fieldwork on missions conducted between 2012 and 2018 in the towns of Ain Issa, Aleppo, Al-Bab, Atmeh, Kobani, Manbij, Raqqa and Tabqa in the north of Syria. I also had access to Médecins Sans Frontières’ (MSF) archives in Paris (preparatory documents for reports and speeches as well as emails, press releases and official correspondence). And over this same period, I monitored the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Lessons Learned from an Intervention by Médecins Sans Frontières
Maria Ximena Di Lollo, Elena Estrada Cocina, Francisco De Bartolome Gisbert, Raquel González Juarez, and Ana Garcia Mingo

pathogenic mechanisms, transmission and why some people are more affected than others, and this hindered the initial response to contain the outbreak. This meant that regional and central governments in Spain, politicians and social organisations did not take the threat seriously enough at first ( Baron and Rahmouni, 2020 ). International organisations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) – a medical-humanitarian organisation with

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Sean Healy and Victoria Russell

, in which suffering is the fault of those suffering and the responsibility of no-one, and in which their efforts to help people in distress become evidence of criminal activity. The Case of the MV Aquarius It Begins On 13 December 2016, a humanitarian adviser at MSF in Brussels received a call from the correspondent of the Financial Times . He wanted to know if MSF had any comment on a report he had received

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Realistic Ambition?
Pierre Mendiharat, Elba Rahmouni, and Léon Salumu

those with HIV will know their status; 90 per cent of those who know their status will be on antiretroviral therapy and 90 per cent of those on antiretroviral therapy will have an undetectable viral load. These bold assumptions were put to the test in a five-year pilot project launched in June 2014 by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Kenya’s Ministry of Health in Ndhiwa district, where an initial NHIPS 1 study by Epicentre (MSF’s epidemiology centre) in

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Arjun Claire

and efficiency of aid delivery implicitly override the principle of humanity. And the search for solutions to today’s increasingly protracted crises overshadows the need for social justice. In some ways, this supposed tension between a strictly technical and neutral humanitarian action and a more political and morally driven one has existed for some time. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) starkly illustrates this tension. It may be built into the DNA of the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Fabrice Weissman

Introduction Every year, dozens of national and international aid workers are kidnapped. Like governments and companies, most humanitarian organisations handle these events with the utmost secrecy. While Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), for example, publicly confirmed the abduction and release of staff members kidnapped in Kenya in 2011 and Syria in 2014, 1 the organisation made no effort to mobilise public opinion as a way to gain their

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Uses and Misuses of International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian Principles
Rony Brauman

some humanity, whether medical facilities or places where food and survival kits are distributed. The fact that these are invaluable, sometimes life-saving, for those who can take advantage of them should not mask the stark reality that humanitarians and the principles they invoke have no impact at all on the reality of war, which is a wrecking ball. ‘Even war has rules’, say the Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) flyers protesting hospital bombings. In theory, hospitals and

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs