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Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) and the Veolia Foundation sign research and innovation partnership

16 march 2015
In particular, this partnership aims to reduce the energy footprint and optimize MSF’s projects and missions, and to examine the possibility of using renewable energies, especially solar, for field facilities in order to improve their autonomy.

In addition to financial support, the Veolia Foundation will provide MSF with access to the experts in its Veoliaforce network to assist the organization with its research and innovation projects, especially in the area of energy. Veoliaforce is a network of Veolia employees from all Group businesses who wish to volunteer their technical skills and expertise for the humanitarian actions supported by the Veolia Foundation. The prime aim of Veoliaforce volunteers working on an emergency mission is to secure the health environment by proposing solutions liable to rapidly provide access to water, re-establish energy supply, remove waste, and transport food supplies and equipment.

The first area of applied and experimental research will involve the installation of photovoltaic solar panels to secure an autonomous supply of electricity for MSF’s mission to combat malaria in Moissala, southern Chad.
MSF has been running a malaria prevention and treatment mission in this region since 2010, targeting in particular children under the age of five for whom this disease the leading cause of mortality. MSF provides local support for the Ministry of Health’s prevention campaigns (awareness and preventive treatment) and healthcare activities (consultations in health centers and hospitalization for the most severe cases).. Because of its very isolated location, average size and geographic position (high level of sunshine), MSF selected this mission for a photovoltaic solar energy pilot project. The aim is to make the mission autonomous while also securing its electricity supply. The first step in 2015 will be set up solar panels on the site facilities which house between five and ten expatriate and local personnel, together with a significant stock of equipment and medication.

 

“The purpose in this strategic sector is twofold. First, we wish to optimize energy management for MSF’s missions and generate savings and reduce our energy footprint. Second, we are considering the use of renewable energies, especially solar, in order to improve the autonomy of our projects,” explains Stéphane Roques, General Director of Médecins Sans Frontières.  

For Thierry Vandevelde, General Delegate for the Veolia Foundation, “this partnership will strengthen the already positive cooperation between our two organizations. I am delighted that we are able to support MSF’s search for greater autonomy for its missions and its ongoing quest for the smallest possible energy footprint. It will enable us to extend and improve the service we provide to the communities experiencing hardship that the organization helps on a daily basis.”

Veolia Foundation - Aquaforce 500

“Aquaforce 500” emergency water treatment plant tested and deployed by the Veolia Foundation for MSF in Uganda.

Cooperation between the Veolia Foundation and MSF began in 2012 under a campaign to combat cholera in the Democratic Republic of Congo involving the refurbishment and extension of the drinking water network in the city of Kalemie, Katanga province. Through this cooperation, 90,000 people now have access to better quality water. The Veolia Foundation also tested and then deployed for MSF an emergency water treatment plant, called Aquaforce 500, in two camps housing more than 40,000 South Sudanese refugees in northern Uganda.

Thierry Vandevelde, General Delegate for the Veolia Foundation, and Michel-Olivier Lacharité, Logistics Director for Doctors Without Borders, explain the partnership in this video:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2ikyza_partenariat-msf-et-la-fondation-veolia-version-longue_news

The Veolia Foundation supports public interest and nonprofit projects contributing to sustainable development in France and other countries. Its three main areas of activity are humanitarian emergencies and development aid, social cohesion and support for job seekers, and environmental conservation and biodiversity protection. The originality of its approach is that each project is supported by a sponsor who is a Veolia employee. The Foundation also encourages skills sponsorship, which contributes the know-how of Veolia employees to its partners, associations and institutions, and the expertise of its “Veoliaforce” network of volunteer employees. Since its creation in 2004, the Veolia Foundation has supported more than 1,350 projects in France and internationally, and participated in 150 expertise missions. www.fondation.veolia.com
 
 
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF – Doctors Without Borders), is an international medical humanitarian association, which for 40 years has provided medical assistance to communities whose lives or health are endangered, mainly because of armed conflicts, epidemics, natural disasters or exclusion from healthcare.
Independent from all political, military or religious influence, MSF acts completely impartially after assessing the community’s medical needs. Its independence is assured by its funding, 96% of which comes from the generosity of private individual, foundation and company donors. www.msf.fr


CONTACTS

Veolia
Laurent Obadia - Sandrine Guendoul
Stéphane Galfré – Marie Bouvet
Tél. : + 33 1 71 75 12 52
sandrine.guendoul@veolia.com