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Without Borders: Issue 38 | March - June 2018

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Since July 2014 it has been my privilege to hold the position of Executive Director with MSF in the UAE. As I reach the end of my tenure, I find myself reflecting on our work in recent months and years – on the projects that may come to define us as a medical humanitarian movement.

I joined MSF at the height of the West African ebola crisis – a tragedy of such magnitude and ferocity that it will be remembered for generations to come; in 2015, MSF’s first search and rescue missions in the Mediterranean were launched, an operation that has rescued more than 75,000 people – people desperate enough to risk their lives in flimsy boats on a treacherous and unforgiving sea crossing; I have watched with pride as our reconstructive surgery hospital in Jordan has grown – treating patients from Syria, Yemen, Iraq and more, for complicated injuries suffered as a result of war. In December,
I had the opportunity to visit our projects in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Seeing our teams in action was a reminder that our work – our medical humanitarian mission, is a lifeline to millions of people around the world.

The context surrounding each of these interventions is bleak, but looking back, I am faced not with horror, but admiration for the human spirit in the face of adversity. A common strand in every emergency I have seen, has been the willingness to overcome boundaries and divisions – to ensure that men, women and children have access to a dignified standard of healthcare, because that is what we as human beings have a right to expect.

From our patients and staff in the field, weathering crises as they occur, to our staff in headquarters, to our donors and supporters around the world, I am filled with admiration for a community working together for greater access to healthcare, and assisting others in their time of need.

I feel a great sense of pride in working for MSF, and I would like to sign off by extending my heartfelt thanks to each of you for your contribution to the MSF movement.

Yours sincerely,

Mohamed Bali

Executive Director Médecins Sans Frontières UAE