A year in pictures 2023

14 Dec 2023

This collection of 58 images, taken between November 2022 and November 2023, highlights stories and voices from around the world where Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is working. 

Over the last 12 months, multiple acute humanitarian crises have emerged. Climate change continues to take a devastating toll on people's health and war has reached disastrous heights in several places. A brutal, deadly war has unfolded in Gaza, where attacks on health facilities put the lives of many of our staff and patients at risk. We mourn the loss of four Palestinian colleagues.

This image collection provides a glimpse into the medical and humanitarian activities carried out by MSF teams in over 75 countries during the past 12 months. From providing basic healthcare in Venezuela, to rescuing people from the Mediterranean Sea and raising awareness on TB among neighbourhoods in the Philippines, MSF has continued to assist people and communities in need.

From the tireless work of our staff to the resilience of patients fighting for their lives in difficult circumstances, these stories bear witness to the vital importance of worldwide access to healthcare. It is an essential need that should never be taken for granted, as emphasised in each and every one of these photographs. 

refugee camp in Arsal

A view of a refugee camp in Arsal, where MSF teams are responding to a large cholera outbreak. Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, November 2022. © Carmen Yahchouchi

village near Sanghar, following severe flooding , Pakistan

Villagers carry items, including blankets and cooking items, as they walk back to their homes at a village near Sanghar, following severe flooding in the country. Sindh province, Pakistan, November 2022. © Asim Hafeez for MSF

Refugee woman displaced from floods in Chad

Kati Abati braids Fidtma’s hair. Both women have taken refuge in Mielizi displacement camp from floods, first in Cameroon, and now in the Chadian capital, N'Djamena. Chad, December 2022. © Fausto Podavini

Remanent of home | Abdulshakour

Abdulshakour sits while his son stands beside him, carrying the bags that hold the few belongings his family managed to bring from home while fleeing the attacks on Rohingya people in Myanmar in August 2017. Abdulshakour now lives with his family, including his seven children, in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camp. Bangladesh, December 2022. © Mahammad Hijazi/MSF

survivors rescued from the Central Mediterranean Sea by MSF’s search and rescue

A polaroid photo of Bintou (left) is inscribed, ‘Je dois être courageuse pour mes enfants’ (I have to be brave for my children’). Bintou, from Côte d’Ivoire, was among the survivors rescued from the Central Mediterranean Sea by MSF’s search and rescue boat Geo Barents. Central Mediterranean, December 2022. © Mahka Eslami

MSF teams unload cargo in Rho displaced people’s camp

MSF teams unload cargo in Rho displaced people’s camp, which has seen a further influx of people seeking safety following violent attacks by armed groups. The camp population has doubled to over 70,000 people, all living in dire conditions. Ituri province, Democratic Republic of the Congo, January 2023. 

Trating people injusred during protests in Lima

Following political protests across Peru, a 70-year-old patient is treated by MSF staff in Lima after being hit in the left temple by pellets fired by the police. Lima, Peru, January 2023. © Maz Cabello Orcasitas

destroyed house near the PK5 neighbourhood in Bangui, CAR

A woman and her child are seen through the window of a destroyed house near the PK5 neighbourhood in Bangui. The town and surrounding area have been the scene of often brutal violence for the last 10 years. Central African Republic, January 2023. © Adrienne Surprenant/MYOP

Yuli on the MSF day centre’s terrace in Athens

Yuli looks onto the street below from the MSF day centre’s terrace in Athens. She fled persecution in Cuba and now lives in Greece, where she is committed to connecting the Cuban transgender community with healthcare and social services. Athens, Greece, January 2023.  © Mero Verli/MSF

 Türkiye-Syria earthquake, MSF staff unload 14 trucks loaded with tents and winter kits

In the wake of the 6 February Türkiye-Syria earthquake, MSF staff unload 14 trucks loaded with tents and winter kits which entered Syria through the Hamam crossing point, in partnership with Al-Ameen, a Syrian NGO. Idlib province, Syria, February 2023. © Rami Alsayed

An aerial view of MSF’s distribution of relief items to families displaced by the earthquake which struck Syria and Türkiye

An aerial view of MSF’s distribution of relief items to a reception centre hosting families displaced by the earthquake which struck Syria and Türkiye on 6 February. Salqin, Idlib province, Syria, February 2023. © Omar Haj Kadour

patient boxing at MSF’s Survivors of Extreme Violence, Torture and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment Centre.

Mauricio works off some energy in boxing at MSF’s Survivors of Extreme Violence, Torture and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment Centre. He was accused of a crime he did not commit and was tortured while incarcerated. Mexico City, Mexico, February 2023. © Nuria Lopez Torres

An aerial view of the Bulengo displaced people’s camp

An aerial view of the Bulengo displaced people’s camp, where MSF is providing free medical assistance and clean water to people from more than 7,000 households who have taken refuge there following armed clashes. Goma, North Kivu province, Democratic Republic of the Congo, February 2023. © Michel Lunanga/MSF

The emergency entrance of Kostyantynivka hospital, Ukraine

The emergency entrance of Kostyantynivka hospital, where MSF works following the retaking of the area by Ukrainian forces. Donetsk oblast (province), Ukraine, February 2023. © Colin Delfosse

Volunteer at a public space in the village of Blahodatne, Ukraine

A volunteer at a public space in the village of Blahodatne. MSF runs a mobile clinic in the area, providing medical care and mental health support to residents. Kherson oblast (province), Ukraine, February 2023.  © Laurel Chor

An MSF midwife installs lights in the maternity room.

An MSF midwife installs lights in the maternity room. She is part of an MSF mobile clinic team providing care to people living in areas affected by urban violence in Port-au-Prince. Bel Air, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, February 2023. © Alexandre Marcou/MSF

Newly graduated nurses from the MSF Academy for Healthcare

Newly graduated nurses from the MSF Academy for Healthcare take a selfie at their graduation ceremony. Lankien, Jonglei state, South Sudan, March 2023. © Alicia Gonzalez/MSF

MSF staff in Tondo neighbourhood of Manila

In the Tondo neighbourhood of Manila, MSF volunteers invite staff and customers at a local bakery to get their chest x-rayed at the free tuberculosis screening held by MSF. Manila, Philippines, March 2023. © Ria Kristina Torrente

An aerial view of South Tarawa, Kiribati

An aerial view of South Tarawa. Half of the population of Kiribati lives on this tiny strip of land, with the lagoon on one side and the ocean on the other. The highest point in South Tarawa is just 3 metres above sea level; the entire country is extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Kiribati, March 2023. © Karim Eldib/MSF

Earthquakes and heavy flooding survivors in Oren Village, Türkiye

Semra Karaca, Sultan Kodaş, Hüseyin Kodaş and Şengül Kodaş (from left to right) live together as a family in Ören village, on the outskirts of Malatya, where MSF partners provide mental health support following the recent earthquakes and heavy flooding in the region. Türkiye, March 2023 © Mariana Abdalla/MSF

Getu Kassa (centre) and other farm workers pick cotton on a farm in the Abdurafi area.

Getu Kassa (centre) and other farm workers pick cotton on a farm in the Abdurafi area. They have come from the highlands, where there is no immunity against kala azar or malaria, and they work and sleep in the fields during the night, leaving them susceptible to both diseases. Abdurafi, Ethiopia, March 2023. ©  Amauel Sileshi/MSF

A woman in the village of Quelimane surveys a house which was destroyed by Cyclone Freddy.

A woman in the village of Quelimane surveys a house which was destroyed by Cyclone Freddy. Zambézia province, Mozambique, March 2023. © Martim Gray Pereira

Bienvenue, disabled basketball player

Bienvenue (third from left) reaches for the ball during a game of basketball. After an accident in 2016, Bienvenue had his right leg amputated by an MSF surgical team at SICA hospital. He received medical care and physiotherapy treatment from MSF. “After my surgeries, I received physiotherapy... Playing sports allows us to release energy and strengthen our disabilities, helping us forget our past and current situations. I train five times a week, a routine I've maintained since 2017.” Bangui, Central African Republic, April 2023.© Kristen peols/MSF

The remnants of a migrant camp in Calais, France

The remnants of a migrant camp in Calais, on the French-British border, following the eviction of people by French police. MSF provides medical and mental health care to people on the move in the area. Pas-de-Calais department, France, April 2023. © Mohammad Ghannam

Girls walk to school in Band-e-Amir, Afghanistan

Girls walk to school in Band-e-Amir, a remote district in Bamyan province, where MSF opened a community health facility in the town; there is no other health facility for women and children in the area. Bamyan province, Afghanistan, April 2023. © Nava Jamshidi

A mother with her baby girl at her home in Jarokashan, Afghanistan

A mother with her baby girl at her home in Jarokashan, a village in Band-e-Amir. MSF provides healthcare in a community where there are no other options for women and children. Bamyan province, Afghanistan, April 2023. © Nava Jamshidi

A boy balances on the end of a canoe near an indigenous community on the banks of the Orinoco River, Venezuela

A boy balances on the end of a canoe near an indigenous community on the banks of the Orinoco River. Mobility in the area is only by river, and it can take hours or even days to reach medical care. Delta Amacuro state, Venezuela, May 2023. © Matias Delacroix

An aerial view shows black smoke drifting across Khartoum

An aerial view shows black smoke drifting across Khartoum following the fighting and violence that erupted between the army and paramilitary forces in mid-April. Khartoum, Sudan, May 2023. © Atsuhiko Ochia/MSF

Khartoum

Patients arrive at Bashair hospital in southern Khartoum, which needs to cope with the influx of wounded people following the outbreak of conflict between the army and paramilitary forces. Khartoum, Sudan, May 2023. © Ala Kheir/MSF

A team of highly trained plastic and maxillofacial surgeons

A team of highly trained plastic and maxillofacial surgeons, anaesthesiologists and nurses pose for a photo at the Sokoto Noma hospital. Four times a year, the team perform life-changing reconstructive surgery for survivors of Noma, a bacterial disease that can result in severe disfigurement. Sokoto, Nigeria, May 2023. © Fabrice Caterini/INEIDIZ

Noma survivor, plays darts in the courtyard of the Sokoto Noma hospital

Rabiu (right), a Noma survivor, plays darts in the courtyard of the Sokoto Noma hospital. Rabiu received reconstructive surgery from an MSF medical team. Sokoto, Nigeria, May 2023. © Fabrice Caterini/INEDIZ 

Woman blankets in her children’s room in Hebron.

Harbiyeh Al-Zaru folds blankets in her children’s room in Hebron. Palestinians in the area have experienced a steady, alarming escalation of violence from Israeli settlers and forces over the years, which often leaves physical and mental health scars on residents. Hebron, West Bank, Palestine, May 2023. © Samar Hazboun

Mother and daughter at Cuvango Municipal

Paulina Cassombu holds her daughter, Rosa, who had been admitted to Cuvango Municipal hospital three weeks earlier with severe malnutrition and a loss of mobility. MSF staff were able to treat her malnutrition and get her walking again. Cuvango, Huíla province, Angola, May 2023. © Mariana Abdalla/MSF

Primary healthcare in the indigenous heartland Delta Amacuro state, Venezuela

Adelia smiles as she holds her son José Antonio on her chest. After hours in labour, she feels exhausted, but is overjoyed at having her newborn baby in her arms. Delta Amacuro state, Venezuela, May 2023. © Matias Delacroix

Siwar holds up her insulin pen while lying down amongst her toys in her family’s makeshift home in Arsal.

Siwar holds up her insulin pen while lying down amongst her toys in her family’s makeshift home in Arsal. She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at a young age and frequents the MSF clinic in the town for treatment. Arsal, Lebanon, May 2023. © Carmen Yahchouchi/MSF

An MSF tractor takes a wooden canoe to a local community, in preparation for the upcoming rainy season, South Sudan

An MSF tractor takes a wooden canoe to a local community, in preparation for the upcoming rainy season. In the rainy season, villages are often cut off by floods, and the canoes enable communities to transport the sick to the hospital. Dentiuk, Upper Nile State, South Sudan, May 2023. © Paul Odongo/MSF

Self abortion care in Beira, Mozambique

Beatriz* (far left), a midwife trainee, speaks with colleagues at Chingussura health centre in Beira. MSF supports Ministry of Health staff in providing safe abortion care and maternity services. A year ago, when she was still in school, she came to the health centre as a patient for safe abortion care. “I had support from my family, from my husband. At first, he didn’t accept it, but after we discussed my situation, that I was studying, he accepted it. It is a myth that you cannot get pregnant again after having a [safe] abortion. Because I got pregnant again normally,” she said. Beira, Mozambique, May 2023. *Name changed to protect privacy © Miora Rajaonary

x-rays of a woman who was shot in the neck in Sudan

A doctor holds up the x-rays of a woman who was shot in the neck in Sudan, before she managed to reach Adré in Chad. There, MSF staff operated to remove the bullet in Abéché hospital. Adré, Chad, June 2023. © Mohammad Ghannam/MSF

Black smoke billows from a wooden boat after being intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard.

Black smoke billows from a wooden boat after being intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard. The boat had around 50 people onboard, who were transferred to the Coast Guard’s vessel before the wooden boat was set on fire. Central Mediterranean Sea, June 2023. © Skyi Mckee/MSF

People wash themselves and their clothes in the Meluli River

People wash themselves and their clothes in the Meluli River, which puts them at risk of contracting schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease. MSF teams have set up a health post nearby to carry out consultations for neglected tropical diseases like schistosomiasis. Mogovolas district, Nampula province, Mozambique, June 2023. © Pierre-Yves Berbard/MSF

MSF doctor, adjusts the light in the operating room of Kostiantynivka hospital, Ukraine

Dr Khassan El-Kafarna, an MSF doctor, adjusts the light in the operating room of Kostiantynivka hospital. MSF teams transformed the hospital’s ground floor pharmacy into an operating room, to respond to a steep increase in shelling and, consequently, an increase in the number of patients requiring urgent surgery. Donetsk oblast (province), Ukraine, June 2023. © Linda Nyholm/MSF

Nour escaped the war in El Geneina, Sudan, with wounds to his face.

Nour escaped the war in El Geneina, Sudan, with wounds to his face. Upon reaching Adré in Chad, near the border with Sudan, MSF teams provided him, and hundreds of other war-wounded, with medical care. Adré, Chad, June 2023. © Mohammad Ghannam/MSF

A team from the MSF search and rescue ship Geo Barents provides life vests to survivors on a wooden boat during a night-time rescue.

A team from the MSF search and rescue ship Geo Barents provides life vests to survivors on a wooden boat during a night-time rescue. Central Mediterranean Sea, July 2023. © Michael Rizzotti/MSF

An MSF water and sanitation hygienist walks across the top of water tanks being used to store and treat water for the people living in Bulengo displaced people’s camp.

An MSF water and sanitation hygienist walks across the top of water tanks being used to store and treat water for the people living in Bulengo displaced people’s camp. Goma, North Kivu province, Democratic Republic of Congo, July 2023. © Alexandre Marcou/MSF

People on the move from South to North America traverse a river in the Darién gap

Yosselin Vásquez, an MSF laboratory assistant, examines larvae of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes carrying the natural Wolbachia bacteria. Once the larvae become adult mosquitoes and are then released, the Wolbachia bacteria will reduce the mosquitoes’ ability to transmit arboviruses – such as dengue and Yellow fever – with the aim to lower the number of people affected by dengue fever in the area. Tegucigalpa, Honduras, August 2023. © Martin Cálix/MSF

Asifiwe Seburo poses for a photo in her hut in Kanyaruchinya displaced people’s camp.

Asifiwe Seburo poses for a photo in her hut in Kanyaruchinya displaced people’s camp. She’s 7-months pregnant with her third child. “It is really difficult to be pregnant in the camp. We are four people sleeping in this tiny hut, latrines are often full, I do not eat enough… it is a daily struggle,” she says. Goma, North Kivu province, Democratic Republic of the Congo, August 2023. © Alexandre Marcou/MSF

An MSF team provides medical consultations to people in the village of Khadian

An MSF team provides medical consultations to people in the village of Khadian, at a temporary health post set up under a tree. Abyei Special Administrative Area (contested area between South Sudan and Sudan), August 2023.  © Sean Sutton/Panos Pictures

MSF peer educator and person living with HIV

A portrait of Hassimiou Camara, an MSF peer educator and person living with HIV. He joined MSF in 2014, and had his portrait taken as part of a series by Guinean photographer Namsa Leuba, documenting the daily, fulfilling lives of people living with HIV in a bid to reduce stigma around the disease. Conakry, Guinea, November 2023. © Namsa Leuba

An aerial view of the devastation in Derna

An aerial view of the devastation in Derna, caused by floods following Storm Daniel’s rampage through the region. Derna, Libya, September 2023. © Halil Fidan/Anadolu Agency Via AFP

A man drinks water from a burst pipe amongst destroyed buildings in Gaza

A man drinks water from a burst pipe amongst destroyed buildings in Gaza, following the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas three days earlier. Gaza Strip, Palestine, 10 October 2023.  © Mohammed Baba

Abdul Salaam digs through the rubble of what used to be his home with a shovel

Abdul Salaam digs through the rubble of what used to be his home with a shovel, as his mother watches on, after a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck the region five days earlier. Herat, Afghanistan, 12 October 2023. © Paul Odongo/MSF

A group of people, among 63 who were rescued by the MSF team on board the search and rescue ship Geo Barents

A group of people, among 63 who were rescued by the MSF team on board the search and rescue ship Geo Barents, look out over the side of the ship, as they head to Genova, the place of safety assigned by the Italian authorities following the rescue. Central Mediterranean Sea, October 2023. © Annalisa Ausilio/MSF

A young boy injured by an airstrike in Gaza hugs his father after receiving treatment at Al-Shifa hospital

A young boy injured by an airstrike in Gaza hugs his father after receiving treatment at Al-Shifa hospital. Gaza Strip, Palestine, 19 October 2023.  © Mohammad Masri

MSF doctors are forced to amputate the foot of a young boy on the floor of Al-Shifa hospital

MSF doctors are forced to amputate the foot of a young boy on the floor of Al-Shifa hospital, using minimal anaesthesia, as medical facilities and personnel start to run out of supplies in a context of siege. Gaza Strip, Palestine, October 2023. © MSF

MSF medical staff treat wounded people at 2am in Jenin hospital

MSF medical staff treat wounded people at 2am in Jenin hospital, following an Israeli forces incursion on Jenin refugee camp. Jenin, West Bank, Palestine, 27 October 2023. © Faris Al-Jawad/MSF

An above view of a crowded hallway at Al-Aqsa hospital

An above view of a crowded hallway at Al-Aqsa hospital, where patients and displaced people are forced to live. Middle Area, Gaza, Strip, Palestine, 29 November 2023. © Mohammed Abed

The watermelon roundabout, a symbol of Palestinian pride in Jenin, was destroyed during a military incursion in the city

The watermelon roundabout, a symbol of Palestinian pride in Jenin, was destroyed during a military incursion in the city. Violent Israeli incursions in Jenin have become commonplace since 7 October. Jenin, West Bank, Palestine, November 2023. © Faris Al-Jawad/MSF