Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) was founded in 1971 by a small group of French doctors who believed that all people had a right to medical care and that their needs superseded respect for national borders. MSF was one of the first non-government organisations to provide emergency medical assistance while also publicly highlighting the plight of the populations it served. Today, MSF is an international network with offices in 18 countries. Each year, more than 2,500 volunteer doctors, nurses, other medical professionals, logistical experts, water/sanitation engineers and administrators join 15,000 locally hired staff to provide medical aid in almost 80 countries. MSF was awarded the 1999 Nobel Peace Prize.