Timeline

November 15, 5200

Médcins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) is founded in Paris, with leadership by several doctors who had volunteered in Biafra and who were frustrated by the lack of aggressive response by the ICRC and international community. Bernard Kouchner is the most well-known spokesperson for the group

Médcins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) is founded in Paris, with leadership by several doctors who had volunteered in Biafra and who were frustrated by the lack of aggressive response by the ICRC and international community. The initial meeting brought together several different groups of people who were interested in doing direct medical service in war-torn regions of the world while also not standing aside from advocacy. The organization began slowly, with unsuccessful attempts to send doctors to respond to an earthquake in Nicaragua in 1972. More successful trips by Bernard Kouchner and other leaders involved aid for Kurdish rebels in Iraq in 1974 and a 1975 trip to Saigon.

MSF eventually became one of the best-known humanitarian agencies in the world, and won the Nobel prize in 1999.

See Also:

Video: “Bernard Kouchner Talks about Doctors Without Borders Biafra

Bradley, Mark. The World Reimagined: Americans and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016.

Davey, Eleanor. Idealism Beyond Borders: The French Revolutionary Left and the Rise of Humanitarianism, 1954-1988. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Redfield, Peter. Life in Crisis: The Ethical Journey of Doctors Without Borders. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013.