Health workers on the frontline

HQ Location: United Kingdom

At the age of 30, Christophe Besse left his job treating the rich and famous in an exclusive London clinic, to “do some proper work.” Founding MERLIN in 1993 with two friends, the organization went through a baptism of fire in war-torn Bosnia. Twenty years later, it numbers 6,000 staff reaching an average of 20 million people per year in 17 countries, including operationally challenging locations like Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. More than a humanitarian relief actor, MERLIN stays on to assist recovery in the long-term, building the capacity of local health care workers and embedding best practices to increase the resilience of at-risk communities in the face of future shocks.