is doctors without borders legit

In terms of humanitarian aid in the world, only a handful of organizations are as popular like Doctors Without Borders. Also known as it’s French title, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) This international medical humanitarian organisation has been providing medical assistance to those in dire worldwide since its inception around 1971. What is the truth? Is Doctors Without Borders legit? This article delved into the credibility of Doctors Without Borders by examining its mission, history organization structure, activities, funding, impacts external evaluations, and more.

History and Background of Doctors Without Borders

Doctors Without Borders was established in the year 1971 by a group composed of doctors and journalists from Paris. The founders were driven by the conviction that everyone has the right to health care regardless of their nationality, religion or political affiliation and that the requirements of those in need outweigh the need to respect national boundaries. The idea for the organization came out of a desire for an effective, independent and accountable way of delivering medical aid.

The impetus for the formation MSF was the Biafran conflict. MSF is its involvement with the Biafran crisis in Nigeria which was the place where the MSF founders saw a lack of efficient worldwide response to this situation. This event sparked their desire to create an organization that could swiftly effectively and efficaciously for medical emergencies throughout the globe.

Mission and Values of Doctors Without Borders

Doctors Without Borders operates on the principle of impartiality, neutrality as well as independence and bearing witness. These are the principles that guide their mission to offer medical assistance for those who are most in need without regard to race, religion or political affiliation.


MSF offers medical aid in accordance with the need and without discrimination. This policy ensures that assistance is provided to those who are most in need, regardless of race or political aspects.


In times of conflict, MSF does not take sides. Their neutrality policy permits them to focus on providing assistance in a variety of the most dangerous areas.


MSF is completely independent of economic, political or religious authority. This independence is vital to ensuring that the MSF organization is able to be a free-thinking organization and to make decisions solely based on the demands that the individuals they help.

Bearing Witness

MSF frequently exposes the problems they encounter. The principle of being a witness is to draw attention to the suffering of those they help and calling for changes to boost their lives.

Organizational Structure

Doctors Without Borders is a uncentralized network that includes 24 organizations across the world. Each organization is accountable for overseeing the organization’s activities across various regions. The International Council, composed of members from each of the associations, oversees the overall management.

The centers operating located in Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Geneva, and Barcelona are responsible for coordination of field operations. They manage a range of assignments and projects, as well as deploying medical teams, and providing the medical and logistical support needed for their job.

How Doctors Without Borders Operates

MSF operates in over 70 countries, providing assistance to emergencies, natural catastrophes crises, or other emergency situations. Their activities are categorised in several categories:

Emergency Response

The emergency teams of MSF are typically the first to arrive when there is a crisis. They create temporarily medical centers, administer vaccinations offer the cleanest water as well as sanitation services, and distribute food and other items.

Medical Care

MSF offers a range of medical services, including surgery, maternal health as well as mental health services along with treatment and care for long-term illnesses like tuberculosis or HIV/AIDS. MSF also runs clinics and hospitals, offering treatment for chronic and acute ailments.


MSF is a proponent of policy changes to boost life of those who are affected by crises. This includes raising awareness of neglected illnesses, highlighting the negative effects of natural disasters and conflicts and lobbies for improved health policies.

Training and Capacity Building

MSF also focuses on educating local healthcare professionals and enhancing the capacity of local healthcare providers to warrant the sustainability of their programs and rise the long-term health outcomes of the areas they work in.

Funding and Financial Transparency

Doctors Without Borders prides itself on its financial transparency. The majority of MSF’s funds is provided by private donors. This type of funding allows them to maintain the organization’s independence from political religious, or economic influences and allows them to function only on the basis of the needs they have identified in the area.

Financial Reports

MSF produces annual financial reports which detail their earnings and expenditures. These reports are scrutinized by independent companies to warrant completeness and transparency.

Use of Funds

A significant proportion of the MSF budget is spent exclusively to fund medical initiatives. The costs for fundraising and administration are minimized, so that the bulk of donations are directed to benefit those in need.

Success Stories and Impact

Over the years, Doctors Without Borders has been able to make a significant influence on global health. Here are some notable examples:

Ebola Outbreak

In the Ebola epidemic within West Africa from 2014 to the year 2016, MSF was at the frontline. They provided medical treatment and trained health workers in the local area as well as played an integral role in preventing the spread of Ebola.

Syrian Conflict

As of Syria, MSF has provided essential medical assistance to the civilians affected by the war. Despite the risks MSF’s teams have been able to establish clinics, hospitals as well as mobile medical units in a few of the areas that have suffered the most.

Rohingya Crisis

In response to the plight which is affecting Rohingya people of Myanmar in Myanmar and Bangladesh, MSF has provided medical treatment, vaccinations as well as nutritional assistance to hundreds of thousands of refugee.

Criticisms and Controversies

Like all large organizations, Doctors Without Borders has had to deal with controversy and criticism. These are:

Security and Access Issues

In certain conflict zones, MSF has been criticized for its negotiating with militias in order to collect access. The negotiations may become controversial, and they raise doubts about the neutrality of the organization.

Resource Allocation

There have been discussions regarding the way MSF distributes its funds, with people arguing that money should go towards less-publicized emergencies.

Internal Challenges

MSF has encountered internal struggles that concern security of staff members as well as mental health and management of the organization. Assuring the safety and health of their employees and maintaining the efficiency of their operations is a continuous action.

Independent Reviews and Ratings

Doctors Without Borders consistently receives top marks from watchdogs independent of the organization and charity evaluation experts. Here are a few instances:

Charity Navigator

Charity Navigator rates MSF highly for its financial quality as well as transparency, accountability and transparency. MSF consistently scores above 90 points out of 100 which makes them one of the highest-rated humanitarian organisations.


GuideStar gives MSF with a Platinum Seal of Transparency, the highest possible rating. The seal is awarded to organizations which help in providing complete, transparent data regarding their finances and operations.

BBB Wise Giving Alliance

MSF is in compliance with every one of standards of the Better Business Bureau for accountability of charities and legitimacy, proving its credibility and reliability.


Doctors Without Borders is widely acknowledged as a legitimate, efficient, and transparent humanitarian organisation. Their commitment to impartiality neutrality, and autonomy permits them to bring crucial medical treatment to the most vulnerable frequently in the most hazardous and difficult to reach regions. Despite the many challenges and debates the impact of MSF on the global health system is undisputed. Through medical assistance, emergency response advocacy or capacity-building, MSF continues to save lives and ease suffering on a large scale.

Through ensuring strict levels of accountability and transparency and consistently receiving top ratings from independent experts, Doctors Without Borders proves its credibility and efficiency in the field of humanitarian aid. If you are thinking of making a donation or joining forces with MSF Their experience provides a solid proof of its reliability and effectiveness.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is Doctors Without Borders?

Doctors Without Borders, also called Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) is a medical humanitarian organisation that provides medical emergency care to those who are affected by conflicts, epidemics or natural disasters. It also helps people who are excluded from medical care.

What is the method by which Doctors Without Borders funded?

MSF is funded primarily through private donations, ensuring the organization’s independence from political religious, or economic influence.

Are Doctors Without Borders a legitimate organisation?

Indeed, Doctors Without Borders is an authorized and highly regarded humanitarian organisation. They are known for their honesty, independence and efficiency in delivering medical assistance.

Where do Doctors Without Borders operate?

MSF is present in more than 70 countries, offering medical assistance in the aftermath of natural emergencies and epidemics, conflicts and other emergency situations.

How can I help Doctors Without Borders?

You can help MSF by making donations or fundraising effort, volunteering or promoting MSF’s work. More information can be found on MSF’s official website.

How can MSF warrant the safety of its employees?

MSF adheres to strict security procedures and has extensive training in order to warrant the security of its employees. They constantly monitor the security situation across all their operations.

What kind of medical services is Doctors Without Borders offer?

MSF offers a broad range of medical services, including surgical procedures, maternal care as well as mental health assistance and vaccinations, as well as treatments for chronic illnesses, and medical emergency response.

What is the level of transparency attained by Doctors Without Borders about its financials?

MSF is extremely transparent about its financials. They provide detailed financial reports that are independently audited by a number of independent firms, in order to warrant that accountability is maintained and the company remains transparent.

 Do you know of anyone who is willing to volunteer for Doctors Without Borders?

MSF seeks skilled individuals especially those with logistical and medical skills. While not everyone is able to be a volunteer in the field but there are other ways to contribute to their work.

Have Doctors Without Borders won any Awards?

It is true that MSF was awarded numerous times including that of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999 in recognition of their efforts to benefit the less fortunate.