A Year in Pictures 2019: Trying to tell thousands of stories in just over 50 images

18 December 2019

A child sits near a collection of defused rockets in Mawza, a 45-minute drive east of Mocha city. Taiz governorate, Yemen. 

©Agnes Varraine-Leca/MSF

MSF surgeons discuss where they will make the first incision in the leg of Yousri, who needed a bone graft after being shot by the Israeli army during protests in Gaza in July 2018.

©Jacob Burns/MSF


An aerial view of the town Buzi and the devastation caused by Cylone Idai. 

©MSF/Pablo Garrigos

An MSF staff member assists a woman and her new baby upon arrival at Nduta refugee camp. The mother was being brought back to the camp after having been referred to Kibondo hospital to deliver her baby because of complications. 

©MSF/Pierre-Yves Bernard

MSF nurse mentor Chrissie Nasiyo (middle) engages with a group of sex workers during an outreach clinic in Nsanje.

©Isabel Corthier/MSF

Maria (not her real name), a sex worker who lives in Dedza, was a victim of violence from one of her clients. Maria received comprehensive HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive services from MSF’s sex worker project in Dedza.

©Isabel Corthier/MSF

A team of MSF health promoters goes door-to-door in Nueva Capital, a neighbourhood on the outskirts of Tegucigalpa, to inform residents of MSF services in local clinics, including care to victims of violence.

©MSF/Christina Simons

A  man looks down the staircase in a building that makes up part of the former Turin Winter Olympics Village, where hundreds of migrants and refugees now live in often harsh conditions. MSF runs a project that promotes residents’ access to local health services.

©MSF/Giuseppe La Rosa

Baby Alaa has just been born, weighing 3 kg and measuring 51 cm, at the MSF birth centre in Rafik Hariri University hospital. Midwife Josianne and Nurse Nagham assisted his mother in the delivery, and both mother and baby are in good health.

©Severine Sajous/MSF

MSF teams vaccinate people against measles at a vaccination point set up in the shade of trees in the village of Mina, Am Timan district.

©Juan Haro

Mahamed Mohammad brings his daughter to be vaccinated in Kieke, within the Zakouma National Park, where MSF vaccination teams searched for semi-nomadic families to provide them with measles vaccines.

©Juan Haro

MSF nurse Bárbara García and Nyamach play with a balloon made from a surgical glove in the inpatient ward of MSF’s hospital in Ulang, in northeastern South Sudan.

©Igor Barbero/MSF

MSF medical team leader Benjamin Collins examines a child during a mobile clinic in the village of Ying, close to MSF’s hospital in Ulang, northeastern South Sudan.

©Igor Barbero/MSF

Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Maria Teresa Ingalla examines the x-ray of a patient injured by a gunshot to the abdomen. Al-Salakhana hospital,

©Agnes Varraine-Leca/MSF

Nurse Denise, alongside other MSF staff, checks the vital signs of a child admitted to MSF´s hospital in the Malakal Protection of Civilian (PoC) site, in South Sudan.

©Igor Barbero/MSF

Papa Lazard, health promotion supervisor, sings a song to promote health values and popularity of the measles vaccine in Kweba village, Lungonzo district.

©MSF/Pablo Garrigos

Women and children, displaced by intercommunal violence in Ituri province, gather between the tents in the internally displaced people’s camp in Bunia.

©MSF/Pablo Garrigos

Ana, a woman from Guerrero, one of Mexico’s most violent states, prefers to hide her face as she describes the devastation wrought on her village as a result of the rivalry between armed groups.


©Juan Carlos Tomasi

Detained refugees look out through a gap in the gate at the Zintan detention centre.

©Jérôme Tubiana/MSF

John* and Jean* hold each other’s arms in the Kabinda hospital centre, which treats people with advanced HIV.

©MSF/Pablo Garrigos

The silhouette of a young Rohingya man walking to the mosque for Friday prayers in the Bagan Dalam district of Penang.


©Arnaud Finistre

A six-day-old baby girl, rescued with her mother and brother two days earlier from a wooden boat, sleeps in a makeshift crib in the women's shelter on board the Ocean Viking.

©MSF/Hannah Wallace Bowman

Children of displaced families gather at the old construction site – that was once meant to become the New Emir's Palace of Anka – where they now live.

©Benedicte Kurzen/NOOR

A few villagers bring a sick elderly woman to the MSF-supported health centre in Louashi, Masisi territory, for treatment.


©Pablo Garrigos/MSF

Syrian Kurdish refugees play soccer inside the Bardarash refugee camp in Iraqi-Kurdistan.

©Moises Saman / Magnum Photos

A 12-year-old girl does her homework during the last daylight hours in front of her family’s hut in Kalehe internally displaced people’s camp in Masisi territory.

©Pablo Garrigos/MSF

Camels are watered and used to transport the drinking water for family consumption at a full ‘berkit’ (rainwater collecting clay pond).

©Susanne Doettling/MSF

After sifting through the more than 8,000 photos that we released over the last 12 months (November 2018 – November 2019), we’ve chosen the below series of simple, yet powerful images we think represented the scope of our work in 2019.

The photographers, whether they are our own staff or commissioned freelancers, were there on the ground capturing these moments as our teams responded to natural disasters, epidemics and conflict in around 70 countries.

What is unique – and rewarding – this year is the diversity of our contributors. We believe each photographer has their own way of seeing, and then representing through the lens, an event, an instant in time. Their reporting is accurate and truthful, a valuable asset for our organisation in these times of propaganda and ‘fake news’. These 54 pictures of the year make up just a part of our témoignage, our bearing witness, to what our teams see and do every day.

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