Once again, MSF takes a licking

The stamp is designed by the British stamp designer Keith Bassford, based on a photo taken in December 1996 by the Belgian photographer Marleen Daniels in the MSF health centre of Vigario Geral, located in a bario (slum) on the edge of Rio de Janeiro.

A stamp featuring MSF, released in Denmark by the national postal service, has sold out the first production run in the first week - no other charity stamp has ever sold out in Denmark.

The stamp was released on March 12 and, by April 10, had sold 714,000 copies. Sales have been rapidly increasing since the stamp's release. The first production run of 280,000 copies was sold in the first two weeks. In the 24 hours of April 9-10, 54,000 copies were sold.

The rate of sales has surprised everyone, including the PostDanmark representatives.

'We never have experienced something like that," said Ms. Susanne Felland, PR coordinator of PostDanmark. "After just one week the MSF stamp in sales have exceeded what the previous stamp sold for the whole of last year'.

The stamp is available for only one year. Every year PostDanmark awards a stamp to a charity in a practice that started in 1929.

The stamp carries the value of local/national post which is the most commonly used for mail. The stamp costs 4,75 kr. (63 Euro cents), of which 0,50 kr. (6 Euro cents) goes to MSF. A booklet of 10 stamps is also being sold.

The stamp is designed by the British stamp designer Keith Bassford, based on an MSF photo taken in December 1996 by the Belgian photographer Marleen Daniels in the MSF health centre of Vigario Geral, located in a bario (slum) on the edge of Rio de Janeiro. This particular bario was created after its residents had been evicted from the motorway bridge that they had been living under. MSF is working in the area providing health care and vaccinations. The identity of both the child and the expat are not known.

The Médecins Sans Frontières/Laeger uden Graenser office in Denmark was founded in 1993.

Third stamp for MSF internationally

It is not the first time MSF has been featured on a stamp. In fact, the Denmark production marks the third time MSF has been recognised this way. In 1999, the French postal service issued a stamp with a cartoon design promoting MSF. The stamp is shown on the right.

Also in 1999, the Swedish postal service released a stamp featuring MSF. It was part of the 100 anniversary celebrations of the Nobel Prize. MSF won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999. The stamp is on the right, below.