Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders in English) is Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
The organization actively provides health care and medical training to populations in more than 60 countries, and frequently insists on political responsibility in conflict zones such as Chechnya and Kosovo.
Only once in its history, during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, has the organisation called for military intervention. To be able to speak and act freely, MSF remains independent of any political, religious or economic powers. The majority of all MSF activities are paid for with private donations.
MSF received the 1999 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of its members' continuous effort to provide medical care in acute crises, as well as raising international awareness of potential humanitarian disasters. Dr. James Orbinski, who was the president of the organization at the time, accepted the prize on behalf of MSF. Prior to this, MSF also received the 1996 Seoul Peace Prize. The current president of MSF is Dr. Christophe Fournier.
MSF went through a long process of self-examination and discussion in 2005-2006. Many issues were debated, including the treatment “nationals” as well as “fair employment” and self criticism.
Every year, Médecins Sans Frontières send out over 2,500 doctors, nurses and other professional helpers to more than 80 countries, where they co-operate with a good 15,000 local personnel. They go where need, suffering and hopelessness are greatest, indeed often catastrophic in nature, regardless of whether the catastrophes are human or natural in origin. We find them in the world's countless refugee camps, as well as among Chinese peasants, Russian prisoners, or the western world's modern city slum-dwellers. They are present in large numbers in Africa – the forgotten continent.