Canadian volunteers first came together to create an MSF association in 1989, and Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Canada formally joined the international movement in 1991.
Doctors Without Borders staff in Canada recruit medical and logistical personnel for field missions; raise public awareness of the plight of the populations we care for; and finance international MSF projects by raising funds. In 2016, over 166,000 private Canadian supporters — individuals, organizations, estates and community groups — donated more than $55 million to our lifesaving work. These funds, combined with contributions from the federal Canadian government to our front-line emergency response work, provided direct support to our humanitarian medical programs in 27 different countries, as well as to our international search-and-rescue response in the Mediterranean Sea.
Doctors Without Borders Canada is a vital link between our work on the front lines of emergencies around the world and the network of supporters, humanitarians and medical professionals in Canada who make it possible. Our recruitment and placement teams ensure that qualified and highly valued Canadian field workers are there to help deliver care overseas, while our tireless fundraisers connect Doctors Without Borders medical programs with the resources they need. Doctors Without Borders Canada’s humanitarian affairs specialists, meanwhile, advocate on behalf of our patients to the decision-makers in this country who can help make critical differences in their abilities to access care.
Doctors Without Borders Canada also provides crucial added value to our international medical interventions by pursuing innovations that can address the unmet needs of our teams and patients in the field. The initiatives being developed by Doctors Without Borders Canada’s Program Unit, such as telemedicine and e-learning, are the result of new ways of thinking about emergency medical care, and help provide made-in-Canada solutions — by tapping into Canadian expertise, networks and know-how — to the challenges our response teams face while trying to provide urgent assistance to vulnerable people around the world.