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.
Executive Director Médecins Sans Frontières UAE