Humanitärer Hilfe

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Les 50 ans de MSF, ou comment l'humanitaire reste une épine dans le pied des dirigeants

Dresser le bilan de cinquante années d’action humanitaire de Médecins Sans Frontières tout en faisant l’inventaire des défis à venir est un exercice délicat. Avec des activités dans plus de 80 pays grâce à des financements privés approchant les 2 milliards d’euros, l’envergure actuelle de l’organisation est loin de la modeste initiative qui suivit le carnage des années 1960 au Biafra.

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The Business of Conflict: Humanitarian Assistance and the War Economy in Syria

The Syrian crisis is one of the most serious humanitarian disasters in recent history. Yet the widely reported numbers--more than 6 million displaced, including 5 million refugees--reflect only a fractional toll of the conflict. Numerous international organizations, states, and civil society movements have called for the laws of war to be respected, sieges lifted, and humanitarian access facilitated. But beneath each of these humanitarian appeals lies a complicated reality extending beyond the binary narratives that have come to define the war in Syria.

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Should we discriminate in order to act? Profiling: a necessary but debated practice

In October 2020, MSF organised a workshop in Dakar on staff profiling in operations in the Sahel. Profiling involves the selection of staff based on non-professional criteria, including nationality, skin colour, gender and religion. As such, it raises a number of ethical and practical concerns. As a result of profiling, US nationals have not been deployed in MSF operations in Colombia because of the risk of kidnapping, and Chadians and Rwandans have been excluded in the Central African Republic and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo respectively, because of regional conflicts.

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Tough choices: moral challenges experienced by aid workers during the Covid-19 pandemic

The truly unprecedented nature of the pandemic has mobilised and confused humanitarian NGOs and their staff as much. Forced inaction mixed with setting up programmes within a context of high uncertainty has resulted in strong, sometimes painful, moral experiences. The research project initiated within Médecins Sans Frontières Switzerland has already made it possible to collect useful data both for the present crisis and for others to come.

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Choices at the time of the climate emergency

Knowing about the discussions in progress at Médecins Sans Frontières, as well as the actions it intends to implement to adapt to climate change, provides precious insight. Though they speak in their own names, the five authors – from the Swiss and Canadian sections – say a lot about the ongoing debates within the movement, about the actions taken and about the possibilities for procrastination. Lessons that apply to the entire humanitarian community.

 

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Volunteers and responsibility for risk-taking: Changing interpretations of the Charter of Médecins Sans Frontières

The Charter of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the guiding document for all of the organization's members, states in the final paragraph that volunteers "understand the risks and dangers of the missions they carry out". Through a review of the different periods in the history of MSF, this article analyzes the changing interpretations that the organization's successive leaders have given to this reference to the acceptance of risk by individuals.

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