Procuring Medical Items from Asia – Pilot

Should MSF procure more materials from Asia?

MSF Logistique – the entity responsible for much of the MSF’s procurement – currently sources most of its materials from European suppliers. However, there are strong markets for many of the products that MSF routinely uses across South, Southeast and East Asia. Within those markets, there are several viable producers from which MSF could purchase materials for use in our field projects. We believe these items could be cheaper and create shorter supply chains, especially for MSF field projects located in Asia. Shorter supply lines could reduce the risk of stock ruptures, cut transportation costs, and reduce our environmental impact.

In 2019, the Japan Innovation Team, MSF Logistique and the MSF International Office began researching procurement opportunities in Asia. Since MSF is largely unfamiliar with Asian markets, our unit’s location and particular logistics and procurement expertise are huge comparative advantages for this task.


Progress so far

We have determined that there are qualified and competitive suppliers of medical items in the region, especially in South Korea and China. Following the successful pilot, phase II of the project was transferred to the SEEAP (South-East & East Asia and Pacific) Partnership.

The project team has expanded the service from MSF Logistique to all three European Supply Centres and continue to support them in identifying qualified and competitive suppliers in Asia. After procurement has become mature, the team also aims to identify the most efficient logistics route.

For more details of the project, please do not hesitate to contact Judy Lam ( or visit for regular updates.

Ongoing with JIU from 2019 to 2021, the project was then transferred to the SEEAP Partnership
MSF Logistique, MSF Japan for the pilot project

Last update: July 2023


MSF Japan Innovation Team

MSF Japan Innovation Team is providing innovative ideas of solutions to the MSF activities. If you, either as a company or as a professional, have an idea that would be beneficial to our projects as well as patients, please contact us. Your innovative proposal is always appreciated.