Médecins Sans Frontières and the ICRC: matters of principle

31-12-2012 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 888, by Rony Brauman

How do Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) differ, and how are they alike? The question came from the Editor-in-chief of this Review, but it is regularly discussed at MSF, which might just as well have queried a member of the ICRC on the same subject.


Rony Brauman, born in 1950, is a medical doctor with degrees in epidemiology and tropical medicine. After working as a
physician in the field for several years, he became president of Me´decins Sans Frontie`res (Doctors Without Borders) in 1982
and held that post until 1994. He is now Director of Studies at the Fondation Me´decins Sans Frontie`res, associate professor at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris, and director of the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. He is a columnist for the quarterly magazine Alternatives Internationales.