Médecins du Monde
Médecins du Monde (MDM) or Doctors of the World, is a French non-governmental humanitarian aid organisation created in March 1980 by 15 French doctors, including Bernard Kouchner after he had left Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors Without Borders), the aid society which he had co-founded earlier in 1971. The impetus for the foundation of MDM was Kouchner's split with MSF over certain aspects of MSF's policies. For example, he felt that MSF was giving up its founding principle of témoignage ("witnessing"), which refers to aid workers making the atrocities they observe known to the public. While MSF still practices this principle under certain conditions, the organization has moved closer to a more neutral approach as a consequence of experiences from the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. In contrast to that shift in MSF's policy, MDM maintains that humanitarian aid cannot be separated from politics, lest the aid become misused by politicians (e.g. by sending bombs, and then doctors). Another reason for Kouchner's split with MSF was an aid mission for Vietnamese boat people organized and led by Kouchner in 1980. While the mission was later considered to be successful, it was seen as a single-handed operation and not supported by the majority of MSF's leadership back then.
Kouchner was president of MDM from 1980 to 1982. In 1989, the foundation of a second national MDM association in Spain paved the way for the creation of the international network of MDM. The MDM association in the United States founded in 1990 was the first non-European association. Currently, the international network of MDM consists of fifteen associations; they are in France (founded 1980), Spain (founded 1989), Greece (founded 1990), Italy and Switzerland (both founded 1993), Sweden (founded 1994), Cyprus (founded 1995 by Elena Theoharous), Argentina (founded 1998), Belgium, Canada and Portugal (all founded in 1999), as well as in Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, the Netherlands, and the US. The international network head office coordinates the network members from its office in Paris, France.
MDM has been involved in about 300 projects in more than 80 countries. In contrast to MSF, which primarily focuses its work on emergency aid work, MDM is equally active in short-term emergency aid, reconstruction and rehabilitation aid as well as long-term development projects for a period of up to three years. MDM has around 7,000 members worldwide, around 360 paid staff members and about 6,700 volunteers, about 1,200 of them working on-site in the projects of the organization. The income in 2003 was about 43.6 million euros, of which about two-thirds came from private donations and one-third from public sources. Of these funds, about 41.6 million euros were spent for its work.
- Médecins du Monde MDM Official website (French)
- Ärzte der Welt Ärzte der Welt/Médecins du Monde (Deutsch)
- Médecins du Monde UK Doctors of the World UK (English)
- Médecins du Monde Be Médecins du Monde Belgium (French)
- Dokters van de Wereld Be Dokters van de Wereld Belgium (Dutch)
- Doctors of the World-USA Doctors of the World USA(English)