A new TV series, recently acquired by TVE Asia Pacific for regional distribution and promotion, offers new insights into humanitarian relief in ‘hot spots’ round the world.
Doctors on the Front Line isa series showing how MSF - Medcins Sans Frontieres - copes in the world’s trouble spots considered too dangerous for many other aid organisations.
Some have called it reality TV with a vengeance. The series goes where few news and current affairs camera crews have gone before.
First broadcast to a global audience on BBC World TV in early 2006, the series was produced by the Geneva-based Swiss Foundation, dev.tv.
TVE Asia Pacific recently reached an agreement with dev.tv to distribute the latter’s outstanding development films and documentaries in the Asia Pacific region.
Read our news item on TVEAP – dev.tv collaboration
In Doctors on the Front Line, dev.tv’scameras record the MSF doctors, nurses and paramedics as they try to help patients in the disaster zones of the world. The first four programmes were filmed in Haiti, Honduras, Somalia and Sudan.
Click here for synopses of each programme.
Doctors on the Front Line is the first dev.tv series to be executive produced by Robert Lamb, who after editing 400 Earth Report – Hands On programmes since the late 1990s stepped aside as Editor in April 2006 to take on other television assignments. Lamb then joined dev.tv on a part-time basis to oversee its broadcast output on global development and political issues.
Lamb, a co-founder of TVE Asia Pacific, is on the regional organisation’s international Board of Directors.
“In Doctors on the Front Line, MSF has given the crews unfettered access to its medical units operating in some of the most lawless parts of the world,” says Robert Lamb. “We see how they take a stand on human rights abuses while caring for the victims of gang warfare and street violence inHaiti and Honduras and of famine and civil war in Sudan and Somalia."
MSF is is an international humanitarian aid organisation that provides emergency medical assistance to populations in danger in more than 70 countries. It is largely funded by public donations.
Winner of the 1999 Nobel Peace Prize, the French-based organisation has a reputation for being brash and outspoken in a way its Red Cross, UN and other international counterparts would not contemplate.
Since its founding in 1971 it has not shied away from mixing humanitarianism with criticisms of the authorities. MSF for example was thrown out of Ethiopia in 1985 for whistle blowing on the misuse of aid and more recently in Rwanda for savaging the government on the state of the prisons.
More recently in keeping with this tradition, MSF asked their donors to stop sending money for Asian Tsunami victims as they said they had collected all the funds it could manage effectively.
dev.tv is a non-profit association founded in 2002 by a consortium of award-winning film-makers. It specialises in coverage of global economic issues, and has produced over 30 award-winning programmes, many of which have been broadcast to more than 200 countries and territories.