In the era of the War on Terror, governments are increasingly ignoring the rights of their wounded enemies, who they characterize as terrorists or criminals. In contrast to the combatants in earlier wars, they seek to refuse treatment to their enemies.
This development is extremely dangerous for humanitarian aid workers. Many warring parties see them as supporters of terrorists and are disregarding the neutrality of medical professionals in war zones. As a result, hospitals have gone from being protected zones to death traps.
One organization affected especially dramatically by this development is Doctors Without Borders, known as Médecins Sans Frontières, or MSF in French, the language of its founders. It is the world's largest, best-organized medical aid organization, with 37,000 volunteers working in 69 countries, funded almost entirely by private donations.
They are experts in coping with natural disasters and civil wars. They are viewed as activists, as courageous members of a flexible organization prepared to take risks, with little conceit and hardly any bureaucracy. Since its founding almost 45 years ago, MSF has become an enormous aid organization and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999. It is confident and convinced that it is among the best of aid organizations. Still, in 2016 its self-assurance has been shaken to the core, with volunteers now wondering: "How can I save lives without losing my own?"
'via Blog this'