2016 reports

Emergency now: a call for action beyond summits
MSF’s reflections on the World Humanitarian Summit

May 2016

In early May 2016, MSF announced its decision to pull out of the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS). The statement published expressed MSF’s lack of hope that the WHS will address the weaknesses in humanitarian action and emergency response, particularly in conflict areas or epidemic situations. Instead, the WHS’s focus would seem to be an incorporation of humanitarian assistance into a broader development and resilience agenda. Further, the summit neglects to reinforce the obligations of states to uphold and implement the humanitarian and refugee laws which they have signed up to.

MSF has been significantly engaged in the WHS process over the past 18 months, and this report summarises our reflections on some of the key themes in the ‘Agenda for Humanity’ put out by the UN Secretary General.

Out of Focus: How millions of people in West and Central Africa are being left out of the global HIV response

Out of focus: How millions of people in West and Central Africa are being left out of the global HIV response

April 2016

Our observations highlight the urgent need to overcome the current status quo and develop an adapted fast-track action framework for the countries in West and Central Africa. Concrete proposals for a catch-up plan to close the treatment gap in West and Central Africa are included in this report, including the call to triple ART initiations by 2020 in countries with less than 50 percent HIV treatment coverage, and to transfer knowledge and experience from places that have effectively rolled-out ART provision.

Return to Abuser Papua New Guinea report

Return to abuser

March 2016

'Return to Abuser' uncovers the gaps in services and systems in Papua New Guinea, trapping women and children in cycles of severe family and sexual violence.

The report details how a dire lack of protection mechanisms, a weak justice system and a culture of impunity endanger the health and lives of patients in Papua New Guinea even if they manage to reach medical care.


Obstacle course to Europe - MSF report

Obstacle course to Europe: A policy-made crisis at EU borders

January 2016

MSF denounces the European Union’s catastrophic failure to respond to the humanitarian needs of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in Europe in 2015.

Life after the rubble: The journey taken by war-wounded Syrians to rebuild their bodies and minds in Jordan

Life after the rubble: The journey taken by war-wounded Syrians to rebuild their bodies and minds in Jordan

January 2016

Five years of unrelenting violence in Syria has left thousands of ordinary men, women and children with devastating injuries, yet unable to get the specialist medical care they need in Syria’s overwhelmed field hospitals. In this report, MSF describes the challenges and successes of providing medical care in Jordan to victims of the Syrian war, while MSF’s patients tell their own, often heartbreaking, stories.

2015 reports

How Europe ignores the consequences of outsourced migration management

Turning a blind eye: How Europe ignores the consequences of outsourced migration management

November 2015

The numbers of people entering Europe are unprecedented.
According to the Office for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), by 29 October 2015, 705,251 people had arrived by sea to Europe, a huge increase on the 216,054 new arrivals by sea for the whole of 2014. The crisis comes on top of another crisis, one in part created by the European Union (EU) and its member states’ ever-increasing efforts to "seal off" the continent – i.e. the constant, often silent and sometimes violent pushing-back of people considered to be irregularly entering Europe.
Epidemics report

Epidemics: Neglected emergencies?

October 2015

The Ebola outbreak that hit West Africa in 2014 dominated the headlines for months, eclipsing coverage of other medical emergencies. It was an enormously important crisis, with many lessons learned during the response phase and with much work remaining to be done. But if we focus too intently on any single disease, we risk overlooking less spectacular but far more common outbreaks of measles, malaria, cholera, and meningitis that take place every year, with profound consequences and loss of life.  

An unprecedented year: MSF's response to the largest ever Ebola outbreak

An unprecedented year: MSF's response to the largest ever Ebola outbreak

June 2015

On 22 March 2014, an Ebola epidemic was officially declared in Guinea. Over the course of the next year, the virus would infect more than 25,000 people in nine countries and claim more than 10,000 lives, dwarfing all previous Ebola outbreaks. For comparison, the biggest previous outbreak had a total of 425 cases.

This is our accountability report

Pushed to the limit and beyone: A year into the largest ever Ebola outbreak. An MSF report.

Pushed to the limit and beyond: A year into the largest ever Ebola outbreak

March 2015

A year into the outbreak, many questions abound. How did the epidemic spiral so spectacularly out of control? Why was the world so slow to wake up to its severity and respond? Was it due to fear, lack of political will, lack of expertise, or a perfect storm of all three? Did MSF make the right choices? How could MSF have done more and saved more lives? What have we learned from this outbreak and what must be done differently in future? There are many questions and few simple answers.

The ‘new humanitarian aid landscape’ - Case study: MSF interaction with non-traditional and emerging aid actors in Syria 2013-14

MSF interaction with non-traditional and emerging aid actors in Syria 2013-14

January 2015

The way in which the Syria war has been fought - and the regional geo-political dynamics that frame it - has resulted in a polarised aid environment. At the core of the challenges facing MSF institutionally in Syria is the reality that the aid landscape has drastically shifted, and MSF is no longer an insider to the aid system, able to criticise the failings of the system from within, while relying on certain operational alliances with NGOs that essentially have the same ‘principles’.

 The ‘new humanitarian aid landscape’ - Case study: Philippines Typhoon Haiyan response

Philippines Tyhphoon Haiyan response

January 2015

Typhoon Haiyan was a major natural disaster that overwhelmed the capacities of the national and local governments in the Philippines. The international humanitarian system mounted a massive response, and, due to the Government’s openness to receive aid, a wide range of actors responded. Despite this MSF’s interaction with them was entirely pragmatic, based on operational need.

 The ‘new humanitarian aid landscape' - Case study: MSF interaction with non-traditional and emerging aid actors in northern Mali 2012-13

MSF interaction with non-traditional and emerging aid actors in northern Mali 2012-13

January 2015

This paper attempts to shed light, on the one hand, on the changing landscape of aid actors in Mali with a special attention to the “new” actors; and, on the other hand, to MSF’s relationships (or lack of thereof) with these actors and the factors that shape these relationships.

2014 reports

Pushing the envelope

Pushing the envelope

August 2014

The Global Fund is by far the biggest contributor to the fight against the three largest killer diseases: HIV, TB and malaria. It gets its funding by donor countries who pool their resources into the Global Fund. It has introduced recently a new model to fund those diseases which is having very concrete impact on the ground, which is what this brief examines. Considering the Global Fund has a budget of 16 billion dollars in the next four years its new funding model has a direct impact on the 12 million people currently on HIV treatment (it directly finances care for half of the total, six million people), and to the 16 million people who are HIV positive and don’t have access to treatment yet. 

Where is Everyone?

Where is Everyone? Responding to emergencies in the most difficult places

July 2014

Working at the frontline of delivering humanitarian aid, we at MSF are acutely aware of the limitations and deficiencies of the international aid response to crises. Some good work is taking place, and lives are being saved, but much more can, and should be done, to reach those people most in need. In 2016 the World Humanitarian Summit will bring together global experts in aid to consider the structure and funding of humanitarian work in the future.In advance of this important meeting, MSF is publishing Where is everyone?, a report which diagnoses some of the key issues inherent in the international response to humanitarian crises.

It's not just about drinking tea: Dialogue between MSF, its patients and their communities

May 2014

Central to the work of MSF are its patients – the people affected by distress and conflict whom MSF seeks to treat. MSF’s medical and operational staff, both international and national, choose to bring their humanitarian imperative and medical ethics as close to their patients as a medical humanitarian organisation should. But while MSF ensures proximity to its patients and their communities, it is acutely conscious that crossing the geographic and cultural barriers to be with its patients in times of crisis demands more than medical skill and logistical know-how. Providing optimal medical care to its patients requires detailed understanding of their political and cultural context, their needs and habits, and the impact on them of the crises that MSF is there to address.

Between rhetoric and reality - MSF Afghanistan report

Between rhetoric and reality: The ongoing struggle to access healthcare in Afghanistan

February 2014

2014 is another crucial year for Afghanistan: after 12 years the US-led NATO military intervention in the country has entered its final phase, and presidential and provincial elections are scheduled for April. As the bulk of international troops withdraw before the end of the year, the world's attention is rapidly turning elsewhere. What interest remains in Afghanistan is firmly fixed on military drawdown, security transition and pre-electoral wrangling. Conspicuously lacking is a focus on the daily reality for Afghans, trapped in an escalating conflict - indeed 2013 was reportedly the second most violent year for civilians since 2001.


2013 reports

Improving paediatric TB care in Tajikistan

Improving paediatric TB care in Tajikistan

November 2013

Children are, globally, the most vulnerable patient group in tuberculosis treatment and have been neglected for too long. Estimates for paediatric TB indicate that it accounts for 10-15 percent of all tuberculosis cases in the 22 highest-burden countries and worldwide kills at least 130,000 children each year.

The Illness of Migration

The illness of migration

July 2013

When states close their borders to keep unwanted migrants away, they contribute to illness and suffering. In this report, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) looks back at 10 years of medical humanitarian assistance for migrants in the European Union and in transit countries. Our experience shows that restrictive immigration policies make it harder and much more dangerous for people to seek safety and a better life for themselves and their families.


Violence, vulnerability and migration: trapped at the gates of Europe

Violence, vulnerability and migration: Trapped at the gates of Europe

March 2013

Over the last ten years, as the European Union (EU) has tightened its border controls and increasingly externalised its migration policies, Morocco has changed from being just a transit country for migrants en route to Europe to being both a transit and destination country by default. MSF’s experience demonstrates that the longer sub-Saharan migrants stay in Morocco the more vulnerable they become.


Syria Two Years On

Syria two years on: the failure of international aid so far

March 2013

After two years of an extremely violent conflict which has resulted in more than 70,000 dead according to the UN, the Syrian people are faced with a humanitarian catastrophe. Despite repeated requests, MSF has not received permission from the government to work in the country, but has been able to open three hospitals in the opposition-held areas in the north where assistance remains well below the level of the needs.

MSF Report: Hear My Voice -  Somalis on living in a humanitarian crisis

Hear my voice: Somalis on living in a humanitarian crisis

February 2013

Violence, displacement and food shortages are salient features of Somalia’s humanitarian landscape. The report draws on the testimonies of more than 800 Somali patients attending MSF medical facilities in Somalia and in Ethiopian refugee camps.

Misery beyond the war zone: life for Syrian refugees and displaced populations in Lebanon

Misery beyond the war zone: Life for Syrian refugees and displaced populations in Lebanon

February 2013

The ongoing crisis in Syria is forcing ever more Syrians to flee their homeland in search of safety.The humanitarian needs of this growing population are immense and continue to grow. Half of the refugees are not receiving required medical care. MSf is calling for immediate steps to be taken to improve shelter and provide aid to new arrivals.


2012 reports

DR-TB drugs under the microscope

DR-TB drugs under the microscope

November 2012

Tuberculosis (TB) is a curable disease that continues to kill nearly 1.4 million people across the globe each year, and is the main cause of death in people living with HIV/AIDS. Yet the response to the epidemic remains inadequate. With 94 percent of patients at risk of MDR-TB (those previously treated) not having access to tests capable of diagnosing MDR-TB, and only 19 percent of people with MDR-TB having been enrolled on treatment in 2011, the full extent of the burden is unknown and undertreated.

Older People in Crisis

Older people in crises

October 2012

There is emerging evidence that the needs of older people in crises have not been properly addressed by emergency aid. There are often very high death rates amongst elderly populations in emergencies, partly due to their inherent vulnerability and partly due to services that inadequately deal with their needs.

Progress under threat

Progress under threat

July 2012

While significant gains made in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the past decade are encouraging, countries most affected by the pandemic continue to struggle to place enough people on treatment and to implement the best science and strategies to fight the disease. The current situation in these five affected countries reminds us that the HIV epidemic is still an emergency in many African countries.

Shadows of lives

Dadaab: Shadows of Lives

June 2012

Dadaab: Shadows of Lives describes the plight of half a million refugees living in increasingly insecure conditions with nowhere else to go, and argues that there is an urgent need to explore alternatives.

Fighting neglect

Fighting Neglect

May 2012

Charting MSF's 25 years of experience in diagnosing and treating Chagas disease, sleeping sickness, and kala azar in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and the Caucasus, the report examines past, present, and future management of the diseases and discusses the access to quality life-saving treatment.

Somebody Help

Somebody Help

May 2012

The forgotten population of Jebel Si in North Darfur is left without healthcare as MSF struggles to continue its medical activities in the region

Vaccines: the right shot

The Right Shot: Extending the reach of affordable and adapted vaccines

May 2012

Lack of information on both the price and the different product characteristics of vaccines has been limiting countries’ ability to operate affordable and effective immunisation programmes.

This publication serves as a resource for immunisation stakeholders, such as donors, implementing partners, and developing countries, which are ultimately responsible for their national immunisation programmes.

Somalia Report

Overview: MSF activities in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia

April 2012

The data presented, though being provisional, account for MSF’s medical activities and financial income and expenditures in this region, whereas the narrative sketches how MSF as a medical aid organisation responded to this evolving crisis.

From the ground up: Building a drug-resistant TB programme in Uganda

March 2012

In this report, MSF calls on all key stakeholders to assure quality rapid TB diagnosis, treatment and care, and argues that a scale-up of the decentralised and community-based approach, including access to second-line TB drugs at district level, is the most feasible method of averting Uganada's impending TB crisis.

Losing Ground

Briefing paper: Losing Ground

27th March 2012

MSF review on how funding shortfalls and the cancellation of the Global Fund’s Round 11 are jeopardising the fight against HIV and TB.

MSF report: Maternal Death - the Avoidable Crisis

Maternal Death: The Avoidable Crisis

16th March 2012

Around the world women continue to die needless deaths due to medical complications that are preventable or treatable.

This report highlights how limited access to skilled staff, drugs and medical equipment means that a thousand women a day are denied the chance to become mothers.

MSF Report - Myanmar: Lives in the Balance

Lives in the balance: the urgent need for HIV and TB treatment in Myanmar

22nd February 2012

Urgent funding and assistance must be made available by the international donor community to help Myanmar close the devastating gap between people’s need and people’s access to treatment for HIV and TB.


2011 reports

Central African Republic: State of Silent Crisis

Central African Republic: State of Silent Crisis

November 2011

The Central African Republic (CAR) today finds itself in a state of chronic medical emergency. Five separate retrospective mortality surveys, carried out by MSF and other researchers, in prefectures accounting for the majority of the population, show excess mortality above what is considered to be the “emergency threshold.”

Treating TB report

Treating drug-resistant TB: What does it take?

October 2011

Tuberculosis (TB) is a curable disease that kills nearly 1.45 million people across the globe each year and is the main cause of death for people living with HIV/AIDs. Of the 8.8 million new tuberculosis cases each year, 440,000 are forms of the disease that are multidrug-resistant, meaning they cannot be treated with the two primary antibiotics used to treat TB.


2010 reports

Measles: Analysis and critique of outbreak response in 2009-10

December 2014

During 2009 and 2010 there were regional outbreaks of measles in central and southern Africa. The measles outbreaks were all distinct in nature, but similar in terms of the burden they represented on health services, and in their ability to cause fatalities. This report aims to highlight the main challenges of dealing with such outbreaks and the ways in which the responses deviated from optimal response strategies, in preparation for developing advocacy strategies for outbreaks of similar scope within the region. 

Fighting a dual epidemic: Treating TB in a high HIV prevalence setting in rural Swaziland

18th November, 2010

The southern African kingdom of Swaziland is being devastated by a dual epidemic of tuberculosis (TB) and HIV. MSF highlights measures that urgently need to be expanded nationwide, including improved infection control measures and the implementation of new diagnostic techniques.

MSF/Oxfam report image

Giving developing countries the best shot: An overview of vaccine access and R&D

11th April, 2010

MSF and Oxfam show how access to newer vaccines and the development of products for developing countries is faltering and failing to provide life-saving vaccines to children in developing countries.


Turkmenistan's Opaque Health System

12th April, 2010

The people of Turkmenistan are being failed by their healthcare system, by their government, and by the international community. The system that is supposed to ensure their health is instead designed to conceal problems. This is not a case of individual practitioners failing to do their jobs but one that is far more systematic.

Sexual violence and migration

25th March, 2010

This briefing paper highlights the problem of sexual violence against Sub-Saharan migrant women, who arrive in Morocco on their way to Europe. Through the data and testimonies gathered in its medical-humanitarian projects, Médecins Sans Frontières hopes to contribute to finding a comprehensive answer to this problem, which increasingly affects more, and younger, women.


2009 reports


2009. HIV-AIDS treatment in developing   countries - The battle for long-term survival has just begun

HIV/AIDS treatment in developing countries: The battle for long-term survival has just begun

20th July, 2009

Over three million people living with HIV/AIDS in the developing world receive antiretroviral treatment. However, the medicines and diagnostic tools available are inadequate to respond fully to their needs. It is now time to invest in improving the public health approach.

Shattered lives: Immediate medical care   for victims of sexual violence

Shattered lives: Immediate medical care for victims of sexual violence

12th July, 2009

Through this report MSF shares its experience in providing medical care, counseling and other forms of support to thousands of victims of sexual violence in many countries around the world. MSF hopes it will inform and inspire health officials, aid workers and others who should be involved in providing such support.

Chagas: It

Chagas: It's time to break the silence

7th July, 2009

One hundred years since its discovery, many of those infected with Chagas disease are still unaware that they are sick. For one hundred years, Chagas disease has been a silent illness. The time has come to break the silence.

No refuge, access denied: Medical and humanitarian needs of   Zimbabweans in South Africa

No refuge, access denied: Medical and humanitarian needs of Zimbabweans in South Africa

2nd June, 2009

This report highlights the plight of Zimbabweans seeking refuge in South Africa, the appalling conditions in which they live and their ongoing lack of adequate protection, shelter and basic services, particularly healthcare, in South Africa.

Hidden behind barbed wire: Plight   of Hmong refugees held in detention camp in northern Thailand ignored amid   ongoing deportations to Laos

Hidden behind barbed wire: Plight of Hmong refugees held in detention camp in northern Thailand ignored amid ongoing deportations to Laos

20th May, 2009

Over the past four months, the Thai military has used heightened restrictions and coercive tactics to pressure some 4,700 ethnic Lao Hmong refugees to renounce their claims for protection and accept a forced return to Laos.

Tuberculosis: New faces of an old   disease

Tuberculosis: New faces of an old disease

23rd March, 2009

TB is a deadly killer, responsible for 1.7 million deaths in 2006. The vast majority of cases occur in developing countries. Worse, this ‘disease of the past’ has returned with new faces that are stretching our capacities to breaking point.

"No food or medicines here until you die": MSF exposes emergency nutritional and medical needs in Guinean prisons

23rd February, 2009

Based on observations from our work in Guéckédou and beyond, MSF concludes that the appalling conditions observed in Guéckédou prison are unfortunately not an isolated case.

Beyond cholera: Zimbabwe

Beyond cholera: Zimbabwe's worsening crisis

17th February, 2009

This report discusses the worsening health crisis emerging in Zimbabwe in the wake of the country's political and economic breakdown.

One crisis may hide another: Food price crises masked deadly childhood   nutrition

One crisis may hide another: Food price crises masked deadly childhood nutrition

23rd January, 2009

This report looks at what has been achieved since the establishment in April 2008 of a Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis, composed of the heads of the UN specialised agencies, funds and programmes, the IMF and World Bank.


2008 reports


Starved for attention: Wake   up to the crisis of malnutrition

Starved for attention: Wake up to the crisis of malnutrition

18th December, 2008

Without access to a wide range of essential nutrients, nine children will continue to die every minute of causes related to malnutrition. MSF calls for food aid to change and for a nutrient rich diet to be made available to children to save millions of lives.

A preventable fate: The failure   of ART scale-up in Myanmar

A Preventable Fate: The Failure of ART Scale-Up in Myanmar

25th November, 2008

Thousands of people are needlessly dying due to a severe lack of lifesaving HIV/AIDS treatment in Myanmar. Unable to continue shouldering the primary responsibility for responding to one of Asia’s worst HIV crises, MSF insists that the government of Myanmar and other international organisations urgently and rapidly scale-up the provision of antiretroviral therapy.

Full prescription

Full Prescription: Better malaria treatment for more people, MSF’s experiemce

30th September, 2008

In a new report launched today, MSF said many more lives can be saved if newer effective strategies to tackle malaria are more widely implemented. The report describes the organisation’s work in Sierra Leone, Chad and Mali, and shows that unnecessary deaths can be avoided with simple, affordable treatment and diagnostic tools available today.

running in places

Running in place: Too many patients still in urgent need of HIV/AIDS treatment

3rd August, 2008

HIV/AIDS treatment and management are essential components of many MSF programs worldwide. Currently MSF provides antiretroviral therapy (ART) for over 140,000 patients in 27 countries, with about 10,000 of those patients being children. In conjunction with this year’s International AIDS Conference in Mexico City, this document presents MSF’s current “state of play” in providing quality care to people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in resource-limited settings.

NO CHOICE: Somali and Ethiopian Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrants Crossing The Gulf of Aden

26th June, 2008

Thousands of people risk their lives every year to cross the Gulf of Aden to escape from conflict, violence, drought and poverty.


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