Doctors Without Borders

551 Adelaide Street West
Toronto, ON M5V 0N8
Executive Director: Joe Belliveau
Board President: Wendy Lai

Charitable Reg. #:13527 5857 RR0001


Ci's Star Rating is calculated based on the following independent metrics:

[Charity Rating: 5/5]



Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity’s website.



Grade based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.



The demonstrated impact per dollar Ci calculates from available program information.


Charity's cash and investments (funding reserves) relative to how much it spends on programs in most recent year.



For a dollar donated, after overhead costs of fundraising and admin/management (excluding surplus) 81 cents are available for programs.

My anchor


About Doctors Without Borders:

Founded in 1971, Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) aims to reduce suffering, save lives, and provide medical care where it is needed most. It comprises 24 national offices, which work in more than 70 countries. MSF’s charter states that it helps people regardless of their race, religion, or political affiliation. Doctors Without Borders Canada (MSF Canada) is the Canadian branch of MSF, funding projects in 34 countries around the world.

Ci's special report on Ukraine: How to help

A Charity Intelligence 2021 Top 10 International Aid Impact Charity

Doctors Without Borders focuses on providing medical care to victims of armed conflict, epidemics, forced migration, and disasters. It runs both immediate humanitarian relief projects and longer-term medical programs that treat diseases such as cholera, HIV/AIDS, and measles. Finally, MSF’s advocacy arm raises awareness on issues relating to human rights abuses and healthcare inequality. MSF Canada provides spending figures by country, not broken down by program area.

In 2019, MSF provided 10,384,000 outpatient consultations, facilitated 1,048,800 emergency room visits, performed 112,100 major surgeries, and assisted 329,900 births. It also treated 2,638,200 malaria cases, 47,000 cholera cases, and 4,970 meningitis cases during the year. In 2019, the charity’s three largest focus countries, in order of program spending, were the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, and Yemen.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, MSF works in 21 out of 26 provinces to respond to measles and Ebola outbreaks. The charity states that the DRC is facing the world’s largest measles outbreak, declared a national epidemic in June 2019. Aside from medical aid, MSF works to support survivors of sexual violence and promote education on HIV/AIDS prevention in the DRC. In 2019, Doctors Without Borders provided 1,687,900 outpatient consultations, treated 607,400 malaria cases, and offered 37,900 mental health consultations.

MSF’s projects in South Sudan aim to support the estimated four million people displaced by six years of civil war, which reached a peace agreement in February 2020. South Sudan also declared a national state of emergency in October 2019 after heavy flooding displaced a further one million people. MSF states that the South Sudanese government allocates only around 2.6% of its budget to health, resulting in non-governmental initiatives providing most of the country’s medical care. In 2019, Doctors Without Borders provided 1,120,900 outpatient consultations, treated 292,100 malaria cases, and admitted 60,500 people to hospitals.

In Yemen, MSF staff work in 12 hospitals and health centres to help victims of the Yemeni Civil War, which has been ongoing since September 2014. It also provides funding and support to 20 other health centres across 13 states. In Taiz, Yemen, the charity reports that an MSF-supported hospital experienced 11 armed intrusions in 2019. During the year, Doctors Without Borders provided 308,900 outpatient consultations, performed 27,100 surgeries, and admitted 75,800 people to hospitals.

My anchor

Results and Impact

Doctors Without Borders Canada has not yet posted its 2020 annual report at the time of this update. These results refer to 2019.

In 2019, Doctors Without Borders provided 1,320,100 measles vaccines in response to sudden measles outbreaks. It also helped 59,400 people receive first-line HIV treatment and 16,800 people receive first-line tuberculosis care. For cases of drug resistance or first-line treatment failure, MSF provided 11,100 people with second-line HIV treatment and 2,000 people with tuberculosis treatment. It also admitted 76,400 severely malnourished children to feeding programs in 2019.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Doctors Without Borders’s results and impact.

Charity Intelligence has rated Doctors Without Borders as High impact based on demonstrated impact per dollar spent.

A Charity Intelligence 2021 Top 10 International Aid Impact Charity

Impact Rating: High

My anchor


MSF Canada is a Major 100 charity, one of Canada’s largest charities, with $78.1m donations in F2020. It also received $10.1m in government funding, representing 10% of revenues. Administrative costs are 3% of revenues (less investment income) and fundraising costs are 17% of donations. This results in total overhead spending of 19%. For every dollar donated, 81 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

Doctors Without Borders Canada has funding reserves of $9.6m, which can cover 12% or less than two months of annual program costs.

According to its T3010 filing with the CRA, which was most recently available for F2019, MSF Canada uses external fundraisers. In F2019, it paid external fundraisers $6.2m to raise $27.0m, at a cost of $0.23 per dollar raised.

Charity Intelligence has sent this update to Doctors Without Borders for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on June 23, 2021 by Eric Zhao.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 2.5%2.7%2.6%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 16.5%15.7%15.0%
Total overhead spending 19.0%18.4%17.6%
Program cost coverage (%) 12.3%6.5%17.0%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 78,07966,77963,179
Government funding 10,10010,1508,200
Investment income 138246257
Other income 8,6608,6828,993
Total revenues 96,97885,85780,629
Program costs - International 63,47663,00154,765
Program costs - Canada 14,92316,01915,415
Administrative costs 2,4152,3062,083
Fundraising costs 12,90810,4679,467
Other costs 433430
Total spending 93,76591,82781,759
Cash flow from operations 3,213(5,969)(1,130)
Capital spending 124174103
Funding reserves 9,6115,10511,946

Note: Ci classified fees and grants from other MSF sections as other revenue. To report on a cash basis, Ci adjusted international program costs by changes in amounts payable to other MSF sections. This affected international program costs and total expenses by $3.0m in F2020, $6.2m in F2019, and ($3.0m) in F2018. Ci removed amortization on a pro-rata basis from Canadian programs, administrative, and fundraising costs.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 81

Avg. compensation: $94,172

Top 10 staff salary range:

$350k +
$300k - $350k
$250k - $300k
$200k - $250k
$160k - $200k
$120k - $160k
$80k - $120k
$40k - $80k
< $40k

Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2019

My anchor

Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

No comments have been added by the charity.

Charity Contact

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 416-964-0619


Charity Intelligence researches Canadian charities for donors to be informed and give intelligently. Our website posts free reports on more than 800 Canadian charities, as well as in-depth primers on philanthropic sectors like Canada’s environment, cancer, and homelessness. Today over 360,000 Canadians use our website as a go-to source for information on Canadian charities reading over 1.3 million charity reports. Through rigorous and independent research, Charity Intelligence aims to assist Canada’s dynamic charitable sector in being more transparent, accountable and focused on results.


Be Informed. Give Intelligently. Have Impact


Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001