Released just a few weeks before MSF celebrates its fortieth anniversary, this book sets out to deliberately puncture a number of myths which place humanitarianism above politics. It is a candid examination of the compromises MSF made – some successfully others less so – to try and help the people suffering most in the world today.
Case studies from recent conflicts such as Yemen, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan lay bare the reality of MSF’s efforts to reach the most affected people, and explore just what the limits of compromise should be. There are also a series of thematic essays that explore broader issues, such as the real usefulness of aid responses to natural disasters.
The book is written by MSF insiders, but is far from a PR exercise. Decisions made in the ‘heat of battle’ by MSF are unpicked and critiqued.
At a time where humanitarian actors are questioning their ability to overcome the obstacles they are encountering, this book seeks to help fuel the debate on their ambitions and the best ways of fulfilling them.