Departure Conditions

Going on a humanitarian mission requires a high level of personal commitment. Motivation, being able to adapt and work in multidisciplinary and multicultural teams, curiosity, and openness to other cultures are all qualities that are essential to the MSF team.


Syria, Ain Issa camp. July 2017
 © Chris Huby
Syria, Ain Issa camp. July 2017 © Chris Huby

Médecins Sans Frontières sends experienced professionals to its field projects. As part of MSF, regardless of your position, you will have a paid contract.

MSF does not send volunteers or interns to its field projects.

The association offers a fixed-term salaried contract based on a person’s place of residence and experience. Health, disability and life insurance are provided to all International staff and contributions are made to pension funds. Medevac and repatriation insurance are provided as well.



“You cannot take your partner or family with you on your first field assignment. This would only be possible if you were taking up a coordination position, generally in the Coordination head office in the capital of the country, and only if MSF permits family in that location. Safety considerations, lack of employment opportunities outside of MSF, limited accommodation options, lack of necessary education and medical systems etc. mean that opportunities to have families on field projects are limited.”

Marc Ferrier, Head of Recruitment at Médecins Sans Frontières OCP

© Remi Decoster/MSF


Your contract and compensation depend on your country of residence and your experience:



                                   YOUR EXPERIENCE

Spent between 0 and 12 months with MSF as an international staff or as a national staff with MSF

Spent between 1 and 24 months as an international staff with a different NGO


Spent over 12 months with MSF as an international staff or as a national staff with MSF

Spent over 24 months as an international staff with a different NGO





Employee (standard fixed-term contract)

€1,747 gross/month


Employee (standard fixed-term contract)

Between €1,747 and €4,365 gross/month

Countries with a contracting section

Contract and remuneration as per the section

Contract and remuneration as per the section

Other countries

Employee (standard fixed-term contract)

€1,747 gross/month

Foreign employee

Between €1,747 and €4,365 gross/month


Standard fixed-term contract: a fixed-term contract with a salary of between €1,747 and €4,365 gross depending on the employee’s role and their relevant experience. This salary is taxable.

Foreign employee: a fixed-term contract with a salary of between €1,747 and €4,365 gross depending on the employee’s role and their relevant experience in the position.

Contracting section: the MSF section which drafts the contract. The contracting section varies depending on the country of residence. Should there not be a contracting section for your country, the French MSF section will prepare your contract.


If you are a national personnel member in France and you leave to work abroad with MSF France:

  • Your remuneration will depend on your level of experience with MSF

For more information visit national personnel expatriation

© Bruno De Cock/MSF


The same applies to all international staff, whether volunteers or employees:

  • TRANSPORT: MSF pays for the round trip voyage from your residence to the mission.

  • PER DIEM: a monthly allowance for living expenses called “per diem” is provided every month in the field to cover food costs and personal expenses (phone card, local newspapers, etc.).

  • HOLIDAY: during their mission, international staff can take a limited number of days off. This number is determined by the length of the mission.

  • INSURANCE: an insurance policy covers healthcare, Medevac and repatriation. MSF provides both personal and professional liability insurance.

  • HEALTH: vaccinations and prophylaxes are covered as per international staff’ healthcare policy. If required, medical evacuation is provided and covered by the organisation.

Life in the field

International Médecins Sans Frontières teams live in shared accommodation. Depending on the intervention location, accommodation and living conditions can be very basic, and the security situation may mean that some strict rules are enforced.  

Our organisation takes personnel safety very seriously. We carry out a risk assessment for every mission to establish rules that all teams must follow to the letter.



“For my first mission with Médecins Sans Frontières, I went to Chad. We lived in a little concrete house and I had a little bedroom with a bed, a mosquito net and a fan. Outside, it was 56°C in the shade! The house was nice: I shared a large living room, a nice little patio, a bathroom and a kitchen with my co-workers. We didn’t have any running water, but we had reserves that, together with a bucket, meant we could take a shower. We got our electricity from a generator. Although we could only go between the house and the hospital for safety reasons, team life largely made up for these restrictions. I have amazing memories of this mission, and of the warm, friendly times that we shared there!”

Flora, MSF nurse




Recruitment Process

Over 2,000 professionals work in our field locations every year.

Discover Our Recruitment Process

Progress with MSF

Working with MSF could be the start of a long career within the organisation.

Discover how to progress with MSF

Expatriation process for MSF national staff

MSF national staff who are recruited in the field can apply to join the association’s international team.

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