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Your say about MSF refusing EU funding over anti-humanitarian deal with Turkey

In June, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) announced its decision to stop accepting funds from the EU member states and institutions denouncing damaging deterrence policies and intensifying attempts to push people and their suffering away from European shores.

“For months MSF has spoken out about a shameful European response focused on deterrence rather than providing people with the assistance and protection they need,” Jerome Oberreit, MSF's International Secretary General explained.

“The EU-Turkey deal goes one step further and has placed the very concept of “refugee” and the protection it offers in danger.”

When we told the world, you responded.

Our message reached more than 105,830 people following MSF Southern Africa on Facebook. What's more - over 1,000 people like you took a stand with us, clicking "Like" on Facebook about our decision.

We are pleased to now share your interactions on the MSF Southern Africa social media channels and news articles with you today .

Check out more of what other MSF donors and supporters had to say, below...

Twitter Logo  Twitter

The #Argos's first rescue for today was at 5am. When this rubber boat carrying 129 #people started losing air. pic.twitter.com/7VlWfqTGIn

— MSF Sea (@MSF_Sea) July 12, 2016

 


Kim from @MSF's Bourbon #Argos has a message for the leaders of #Europe and the Member States. Provide #SAFEPASSAGE! pic.twitter.com/1oqvdRKMju

— MSF Sea (@MSF_Sea) July 11, 2016

 


1/2 The deal sets a dangerous precedent for countries hosting refugees. https://t.co/XohXCedZd4 pic.twitter.com/3QyN0oLHWI

— MSF Southern Africa (@MSF_southafrica) June 17, 2016

 


2/2 Sending a message that caring for people forced from their homes is optional & that they can buy their way out of asylum.

— MSF Southern Africa (@MSF_southafrica) June 17, 2016

 


MSF rejects the instrumentalisation of humanitarian aid for the sake of border control. https://t.co/XohXCedZd4 pic.twitter.com/PxJ14REWMH

— MSF Southern Africa (@MSF_southafrica) June 17, 2016

Facebook Logo  Facebook

Responses to some of your questions

  • What does MSF hope to achieve through this decision?

    Over the past year, MSF has repeatedly called on the EU and its member states to introduce policies that protect, rather than detrimental policies of deterrence and pushback. We don’t expect European policies to change in the short term – discussions are already ongoing to take the EU Turkey deal as a blueprint for migration control and extend it to over 16 countries – but we can’t continue accepting funding from the same European governments or institutions whose policies do so much harm. Through this principled decision, MSF aims to distance itself from the harmful policies which continue to harm and even kill migrants and refugees.

  • Have you rejected funding on this level before?

    In 2004 MSF formalised what had become a defacto policy of not accepting funding from the US government or its donor agencies such as USAID. In its war on terror, the US government expanded the number of countries it was involved in politically and militarily. Humanitarian and development aid was incorporated into this broader strategy. MSF decided we could no longer accept funding because they were blurring their military and political objectives (against the principle of humanitarian aid based on needs alone) and because doing this would have compromised our independence, neutrality and impartiality.

    USAID money was also increasingly coming with strings attached, which, among other problematic issues included limiting MSF's ability to speak out about the situations we witnessed in our work, and subjecting MSF staff to US security checks. The decision not to accept money from the US and its donor agencies still applies today.

  • What will the decision to reject EU funding mean for MSF patients and its medical programmes?

    EU funding only makes up a small proportion of our overall budget, with 92% of our funding coming from the generosity of 5.7 million individual donors. We will rely on this generosity now more than ever before. We hope that people continue to support our work following this decision and that our existing donors will understand our need to distance ourselves from policies which threaten asylum and cause so much harm.

    Some of our projects are still being paid for by funding from EU member states or institutions and these will continue until their contracts run out – most will be finished by 2016. No new contract was signed with the EU since April 2016.

  • If MSF has so many funds in reserve, have donors just been paying to an account and not to emergencies?

    MSF maintains a reserve to ensure that we can respond fast in an emergency. We’ll have time to adjust our spending and our fundraising teams will make greater efforts to make sure we have the money we need to continue our work.

  • If MSF can afford to turn down millions of public funding, why should private donors continue supporting MSF?

    MSF relies on millions of individuals’ support to provide medical care where it is needed most, free from any outside influence. We hope that people continue to support our work following this decision and that our existing donors will understand our need to distance ourselves from policies which threaten asylum and cause so much harm. We will need our donors now more than ever.

  • Please clarify, are you refusing to accept funds from EU state bodies or EU state bodies and private citizens of the EU?

    We will no longer be accepting funds from the European Union and its Member States to oppose their damaging deterrence policies. EU funding only makes up a small proportion of our overall budget, with 92% of our funding coming from the generosity of 5.7 million individual donors. We rely on the support of millions of private individuals in order to provide medical care where it is needed most.