In 2009, MSF was subjected to a 5% tax on the salary of all MSF employees by the al-Qaida linked al-Shabaab militia, not to mention “registration” costs of $10,000 (£6,300) per project, a $20,000 tax every six months and was told to dismiss all female employees.
International relief and aid agencies face all kinds of challenges, and the aid workers on the ground are confronted by difficult and dangerous conditions. The fact that the agencies must compromise with powerful forces at times should not come as a surprise, but it’s disheartening, nonetheless.
Hats off to Medecins sans Frontieres for being open about the dilemmas and for allowing debate about the responses.
MSF/Doctors Without Borders do good work. We make a monthly contribution to them.