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Logistics - The cornerstone of our operations

28 September 2015

Jacques Pinel, a pharmacist, spearheaded what was to become a major strength for MSF. A driving force in pioneering humanitarian aid logistics, Jacques sadly passed away in August. In 1979, eight years after MSF was founded, Jacques Pinel described it as “an organisation — without organisation”.

Working as a pharmacist in refugee camps in Thailand, he had been appalled at the muddle of boxes of drugs stacked under tarpaulins and decided order was required. The first pre-prepared kits came into being, and along with a series of guidelines and lists of essential medicines, they became the cornerstone of logistics at MSF and the means to enhance operational effectiveness. These days, logistics are organised between MSF teams in the field, at head office and its purchasing centres.