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2018: A Year In Pictures

21 January 2019

Whether we are responding to disease outbreaks, disasters, healthcare exclusion or conflict, the welfare of our patients is at the centre of everything we do. Our talented and dedicated photographers have been there every step of the way to bear witness to the stories of the past year, capturing the work of our teams and the ongoing battle to save those in peril in our world.

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Trust is Earned

It is a simple lesson in life while living in a predictable world where we often take it take for granted, believing it is abundant: Open a tap and trust safe clean drinking water will flow. Flick a switch and trust reliable electricity supply will power your devices and appliances. Call for help and trust help will arrive.

However, when the world is turned upside down during a natural disaster, a deadly epidemic or as conflict erupts in a war zone, trust becomes one of the scarcest and most valuable commodities for people trying to live through an emergency. Water and electricity supply systems no longer function and health infrastructure is affected, or destroyed. The people who normally provide these services flee for their lives, lose loved ones or become sick themselves. Emergencies unfold when the existing response capacity within a society is outpaced by the severity and scale of unexpected disruptions.

Trust is an essential part of how Doctors Without Borders (MSF) fieldworkers are able to reach some of the world’s most vulnerable people caught in emergencies – often when people are fearful and have lost hope. Our fieldworkers know they have to earn the trust of those they seek to assist by bringing medical care that is relevant to the needs and by being transparent and accountable about our actions and capacity. Trust is the cornerstone of how we are able to negotiate access to conflict zones to bring life-saving medical care, and how we are able to bring psychological care to people who have survived traumatic experiences, like sexual violence or losing loved ones in a disaster.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo the world’s second biggest Ebola outbreak ever, is still not under control in an environment of fear and distrust. Nearly 2 000 people have been affected and 1 400 of them have died. Recently it reached Uganda after infected people crossed the border from DRC. Communities living in conflict-riven North Kivu do not trust authorities and international aid organisations are struggling to convince people to seek treatment as soon as possible, while the health system remains broken and not able to respond to basic needs outside of the epidemic. Here, our teams are still hard at work to improve the community outreach and treatment in the epidemic response, despite having survived attacks against healthcare facilities.

For us, your continued support and trust is crucial to keep our operations around the world going, especially during emergencies when times are tough. And 2018 was a particularly tough year for the world’s most vulnerable and crisis-affected people, with our medical teams treating 11.9 million patients across 446 project locations worldwide. In 2018, our MSF Southern Africa office made a valuable international contribution by sending 200 fieldworkers from the region on international assignments, after which they spoke out about what they witnessed in the field. Our Fundraising team strives to generate future sustainable income necessary to respond to the needs of our patients, and the number of South African regular donors showing their international solidarity grew to more than 42 000 – an increase of 27% from 2017.

For accountability, we also publicly share our annual audited financial statements that detail our income and expenditure. For the 2018 financial year, we again received an unqualified audit of our financials from our auditors, PWC, confirming that our team at MSF Southern Africa manages your precious contributions with care and diligence. The Fundraising and Finance teams are supported by our Board’s Audit Committee to fulfil oversight responsibilities, including the review of the financial reporting processes, the system of internal control, management of financial risks and the audit process itself.

I want to thank you for your continued support of our patients around the world and ensuring that we can be there when they need us most.

Warm regards,

Walter Taderera

MSF Statistics from around the World


Our work in 2018


Where the funds come from


How MSF uses your funds

International programmes by expenses


To download Doctors Without Borders (MSF) Southern Africa Annual Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2018, please click on the button below. 


Alternatively, to download a complete summary of the activities presented above, please click on the Annual Activity Report button.