Within a matter of minutes natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis and storms can overwhelm an entire population.
Thousands of people can be injured or traumatised by the loss of family, friends and homes. Clean water, healthcare and transport are also often casualties in these disasters. Rapid medical care and coordinated emergency response are vital to protect survivors.
From large-scale catastrophes to local emergencies, MSF’s network of aid workers and supplies around the world means we can quickly respond to disasters. Indeed, we treated our first patient after the Haiti earthquake within three minutes. With more than 40 years’ experience, we are professionals in rolling out emergency responses in complex settings.
We put professional medical staff, logisticians and water and sanitation teams into disaster zones. Over decades we have built up a system of logistical support and a large pool of experienced MSF staff that can be mobilised in a short space of time.
Nearly 90 per cent of our funds are raised from the generosity of private donors, which gives MSF an unrivalled level of independence. Because of this, we can respond immediately without having to lobby governments or institutional donors for aid. We only appeal for extra funds if the disaster is very big and we really need extra support from the public.