Debate on risk acceptance

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Is humanitarian action less accepted and how much risk are we willing to take?

Risk taking is inevitable in the work conducted by MSF. The needs of the population dictate where we go, but do they also dictate our risk acceptance? We have been faced with very serious security incidents the last years. Where are our limits without us becoming risk-averse? Is it enough for us to continue to rely on our medical added value as a primary source of our protection and does MSF – and humanitarians in general – have exceptional status in these contexts or do we have the same risk as others? Is the acceptance of the work of MSF at risk because of the behaviour of other humanitarian organisations and the manipulation of governments of humanitarian work? What about the often mentioned coherence in risk management in the MSF movement. If we consider that risk is an inevitable part of our work, then where does MSF currently sit on the sliding scale of extreme risk-taking to risk avoidance?

Chair: Christopher Stokes
Panel: Alexandre Liebeskind, Jérôme Oberreit and Michiel Hofman,

Debate on risk acceptance Part 1

Click here for Jérôme Oberreit's power point presentation

Debate on risk acceptance Part 2


By: Göran Svedin