We act fast when disaster strikes

19 Sep 2023

Floods, earthquakes, conflict – our teams are there to respond when emergency strikes. 

Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) teams work around the clock and across the globe whenever and wherever medical humanitarian needs arise. 

Our care may include triaging trauma patients, carrying out emergency surgery and delivering mental health support for people caught in conflict, natural disasters and health crises such as epidemics. Many of these crises can cripple a healthcare system, cutting people off from the vital services they need. 

Right now, our teams are working across more than 70 countries, responding to critical  situations such as the natural disasters in Libya and Morocco, heavy fighting in Sudan, the aftermath of the earthquakes in Syria and malnutrition in Niger and Nigeria. Our professional teams have experience supporting people immediately after a crisis and during longer-term recovery, such as supporting displaced communities after heavy fighting has ceased.


MSF teams are assessing the needs in Taharat village, after a powerful earthquake struck the centre of Morocco on 8 September 2023. © John Johnson/MSF

In Ukraine, as we evacuate critical patients by ambulance train, we make sure elderly people can get their everyday medications. In Yemen, while our hospitals treat the war-wounded, we help pregnant women who have travelled for hours to give birth safely. And, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as families flee armed clashes, we treat malnourished children in the crowded camps.

When an emergency happens

Rapid and effective response to emergencies is the core of our work. We have ‘Emergency Teams’ on permanent standby in headquarters, who are experts at doing quick assessments and organising immediate responses. These staff members assess the situation on the ground, including in remote and hard to reach areas, identify needs and plan the best way for MSF to respond. 

With our presence in over 70 countries, we often have staff nearby who can deploy quickly when disasters strike. We store medical and logistical supplies in key locations, pre-packaged for swift deployment. In addition, we have a roster of experienced staff ready to respond to a disaster, ensuring we can be there where people need us as quickly as possible.

Current emergencies


An emergency team has been deployed to Derna, Libya to assess the medical needs of the region, affected by widespread flooding caused by Storm Daniel. Hundreds of thousands have been affected  by the flooding, with about 30,000 people displaced. In addition to assessments, our team will be donating emergency medical kits to care for the wounded.


Views of Derna as MSF teams arrive for an assessment, Libya, September 2023. © MSF


The earthquake that hit Morocco on 8 September has caused widespread devastation and killed and injured thousands of people. The earthquake mainly hit rural areas, where landslides and collapses occurred and paths were cut or became difficult to use. In these difficult to access regions, the population density is relatively low, but many villages have been completely destroyed. 

A team of 15 is currently on the ground, assessing needs in the region. MSF has made four donations to medical structures in the affected regions of Al-Haouz and Souss-Massa, these donations contained medicines, such as injectable medicines, analgesics, antibiotics, stomach protectors, and medical equipment (plasters, bandages, braces, blood pressure monitors, glucometers.

Our team have observed a massive, organised and rapid response. There is large mobilisation of the population and civil society to bring relief, water, shelter and food to populations in the most remote villages. And local emergency services have been able to properly support healthcare structures and hospitals and put in place a system to take care of the first injured.

In previous earthquakes, such as those in Türkiye and Syria, and in Haiti, we have seen that support is often needed months or years afterwards. MSF has previously supported earthquake victims with both immediate needs and long-term needs such as mental health first aid.

How can you help?

Our teams rely on support from people like you to enable us to mobilise as soon as a crisis occurs to help in whichever way we can. Our financial independence enables us to freely evaluate medical needs, reach communities in need without restriction, and directly provide high quality medical care.   

Your generous gift can help us respond immediately when an emergency strikes.




Why MSF?

MSF has been working in crisis zones since our founding in 1971. From paediatric nurses to off-road drivers, our experienced staff are experts in responding to complex and fast-moving humanitarian emergencies. 

We think fast, act fast and adapt to save lives.