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How does the Association work?

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is a worldwide movement of former or current staff, who are members of associations at the national, regional and international levels. The MSF Movement presently numbers 24 national or regional associations, united by a shared commitment to the MSF Charter and principles, and by common institutions.

Associations are independent legal entities, registered under the laws of the country where they are based. Each association elects its own board of directors and president. Many associations have an executive office, which is accountable to its board of directors.


© Maimouna Jallow

MSF International

National and regional MSF associations, individuals and the International President are all members of MSF International, the association that safeguards the identity of the MSF Movement.

MSF International’s highest authority is the International General Assembly (IGA). The assembly meets annually, and consists of two representatives from each association, two representatives elected by the individual members of MSF International, and the International President, who is elected by the representatives. Each representative, and the International President, has one independent vote on issues brought to the assembly for decision.

The International General Assembly is responsible for safeguarding MSF’s medical humanitarian social mission, and provides strategic direction to the MSF Movement. It delegates duties to an International Board and holds the board accountable for those tasks.

MSF International has an executive based in Geneva, which provides coordination, information and support to the MSF Movement, and implements international projects and initiatives as requested. The executive is headed by the Secretary General. MSF International is registered in Switzerland.