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A unique view of all the ways WFP is assisting millions of people worldwide.

02/03/2016 - 14:54

Humanitarian needs in Ethiopia have tripled since early 2015 as severe drought in some regions, exacerbated by the strongest El Nino in decades, caused successive harvest failures and widespread livestock deaths.

Acute malnutrition has risen sharply, and one quarter of Ethiopia’s districts are now officially classified as facing a nutrition crisis. Out of 10.2 million people now requiring urgent humanitarian assistance, WFP is tasked with supporting the government in meeting the needs of 7.6 million people in 2016. 


Photo:WFP/Melese Awoke

Surviving on food assistance

Rahima Dadafe, a 23-year-old mother of four, is holding her youngest son, Nebiyu Jemal, age 1. She says the family is surviving on food assistance from the government, along with the special nutritious food from WFP to help baby Nebiyu recover from malnutrition. 

Photo:WFP/Challiss McDonough

“When the rain stopped raining, our crops failed and our livestock started dying because there was no grass for them to feed on. I had three cows. They all died. Now we are {living on} the assistance from the government.” she said.

Immediate support to prevent suffering

During their time in Ethiopia over the weekend, WFP’s Executive Director and the UN Secretary-General visited a drought-affected area a few hours from the capital.
Ban Ki Moon underlined the importance of the Government for its leadership in the drought response.

Photo:WFP/Petterik Wiggers

Earlier in the day, while attending a high level roundtable on the drought in Addis Ababa, the Secretary General stressed that a crisis of this scale “was too much for any Government”. “The international community must stand with people of Ethiopia, immediate support for Ethiopia will save lives and avoid preventable suffering. Immediate support will also safeguard the impressive development gains that Ethiopia has made over the past years and decades,” he said.

[quote|“We can avoid this crisis to get worse by meeting the needs of families today”.WFP’s Executive Director Ertharin Cousin]

Photo:WFP/Petterik Wiggers

UN WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin asked the international community to act before it is too late. “We have an opportunity to provide help but we do not have the resources”. 
“We can avoid this crisis to get worse by meeting the needs of families today”.

Vital food distributions at risk

To date WFP has received only 26 percent of the funds needed to reach 7.6 million people during the first six months of the year. Contributions are urgently needed now to avoid food distributions to come to a halt at the end of April which will cause a spike in malnutrition rates.


Ethiopia is in the grip of its worst drought in recent history. More than ten million people are in need of assistance according to the Government and humanitarian agencies. On Sunday 31 January, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Ertharin Cousin and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Ethiopia to see first-hand the consequences of the drought in one of the worst affected areas.

02/02/2016 - 12:31

Twenty-year-old Mariatu Kargbo is a mother of three children. She has come to the Sierra Leone Church Health Centre in Port Loko district, in the northern part of the country. Here she receives food assistance and maternal and child health services for herself and her 8-month-old child, Ibrahim.

Mariatu Kargbo benefits from free health care services, including food for her malnourished child at a WFP-supported supplementary feeding centre. Francis Boima/WFP

A nightmare called Ebola

Just a few months ago, while Ebola was still terrorising the people of Sierra Leone, this centre, like most others in the country, was abandoned by mothers. “The women here did not come to the health centre because they were afraid that if they took their children [there], they will get Ebola,” said Ernestine Wilson, the nurse in charge.

“Now the mothers are no longer afraid to come to the health centre to access services and to receive food,” she adds. “The food attracts them to come to the centres and every mother wants her child, malnourished or not, to be in the programme.”
[quote|"The food attracts them to come to the centres and every mother wants her child, malnourished or not, to be in the programme.”]

Photo: Francis Boima/WFP

Like many mothers, Mariatu carries the responsibility for caring for her three children all by herself. Support from programmes like these is vital for ensuring the health of Mariatu and her children. 

With limited resources derived from selling cooked food in her community, Kargbo admits that before, she did not have enough food for Ibrahim. As a result, he became severely malnourished and sick at the age of 6 months.

Focus on child malnutrition

[story|644953]After a month of treatment through the health centre’s Outpatient Therapeutic Programme, he was enrolled in the centre’s WFP-supported targeted supplementary feeding programme, designed to provide continued support for children and mothers with moderate acute malnutrition. Through this programme, children like Ibrahim receive rations of SuperCereal Plus, a fortified blended food enriched with micronutrients and specifically designed to meet the nutrition needs of moderately malnourished children.

“Ibrahim likes the food and it has helped him to gain weight and to be strong,” Kargbo proudly recalls. “I feel happy when I receive assistance from WFP, especially as I have no one else to support my children.”

The Sierra Leone Church Health Centre is one of 106 PHUs in Port Loko District where supplementary feeding programmes are being provided by WFP thanks to funding from the Government of Japan. Like many of these centres, Sierra Leone Church Health Centre provides health and nutrition education in addition to vaccination, deworming, growth monitoring and supplementary feeding activities.

Photo: Francis Boima/WFP

More than 26,000 children and about 17,000 mothers are benefiting from the supplementary feeding programme in five districts of Sierra Leone with the highest levels of food insecurity and malnutrition. The programme is vital to reducing undernutrition and attracting mothers to health centres again. At the same time, enriched foods provide vulnerable children the nutrients they need to thrive, helping to curb the inter-generational cycle of hunger.

To find out more about how WFP and its partners tackle malnutrition in Sierra Leone, click here.

Use of basic health services drastically reduced at the height of the Ebola outbreak. The population was hesitant to approach the health centres due to fears of either contacting Ebola or being labelled as someone affected by it. Getting mothers and children back to the health centres to access critical maternal and child health services has been challenging.

In partnership with the Government of Sierra Leone, The World Food Programme (WFP) is supporting the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) to increase uptake of services. Through the treatment of moderate acute malnutrition in children aged 6-59 months and pregnant and nursing mothers at Peripheral Health Units (PHUs), WFP is also helping to improve the nutrition status of vulnerable groups, reaching more than 43,000 children and mothers across the country.

01/29/2016 - 18:21

[quote|“I grew up in an Italian-American family where food was so central to our household, I couldn’t fathom that so many people were struggling with not having enough to eat”]

One student who has been using her voice to impact her community and beyond is Zoe Rae Rote. A senior at the University of Notre Dame, Zoe has been a volunteer with the school’s World Hunger Coalition since her freshman year. Now at the helm of the organization, Zoe first connected to the issue of hunger in high school after learning of Mary’s Meals, a program that sets up school feeding projects in some of the world's poorest communities, on a CNN special. Zoe quickly got to work and organized a local fundraiser to benefit the charity, which was responding to the famine in the Horn of Africa at the time.

“I grew up in an Italian-American family where food was so central to our household, I couldn’t fathom that so many people were struggling with not having enough to eat,” she says.

Today, Zoe and the 15 other volunteers who make up the World Hunger Coalition work tirelessly to meet needs in the local community and beyond. The club, first founded by Notre Dame University in 1974, raised over $18,000 for hunger organizations last semester alone through its signature Wednesday Lunch donation program.

Through the initiative, students sign up at the start of the semester to forgo a swipe into the school’s dining hall on Wednesdays. Nearly 700 students signed up for the program last semester – record numbers. The money saved by the dining hall by producing less food on Wednesdays is then pooled and donated to both local food banks and international charities.

World Hunger Coalition student volunteers

The World Hunger Coalition also operates an annual blood drive during the holidays. For every unit collected, the local Red Cross donates a turkey meal voucher, which in turn, the student gives to local food banks.  

[quote|“I’m very passionate about the link between education and nutrition. I know that hunger will always be a thread in my life”]

Zoe, who graduates this Spring and will hand over the reins to the incoming president, is confident that the organization will expand its impact by collaborating with additional partners and through more innovative fundraising programs.

Zoe will soon embark on a program to earn her Master’s in Education and plans on becoming a public school teacher. “I’m very passionate about the link between education and nutrition. I know that hunger will always be a thread in my life,” she says.

Join other students in the fight against hunger

Zoe plans to attend the upcoming Universities Fighting World Hunger Summit in February. If you are interested in connecting with other students like Zoe who are passionate about finding solutions to global hunger, register today here:  

The conference will feature well-known keynote speakers including WFP’s Deputy Executive Director Amir Abdulla and Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University (and former WFP executive) Catherine Bertini, panel events, interactive sessions, and breakout workshops with experts from a wide spectrum of fields, sectors, and backgrounds.

(As pictured in heading: Elisa Benitez, Jennifer Prosser, Zoe Rae Rote, Arianna Rominski, Jane Pangburn, Emily Vincent, and Flora Tang).

Next month, students, educators and academic leaders from across the U.S. will come together to amplify their voices in the global fight against hunger at the annual Universities Fighting World Hunger Summit. Over 250 anti-hunger advocates will convene in Columbia, Missouri, 26-27 Feb. to exchange ideas on ways to stamp out hunger around the globe.

01/29/2016 - 13:07
Food For Assets

More than 400,000 people are affected by severe food insecurity, according to a crop and food security mission, conducted jointly by Madagascar’s Ministry of Agriculture, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) in July 2015. 

For Delphine, a 43-year-old who lives in the village of Ambonaivo in Ambovombe district, times are tough. 

“We can hardly meet our family’s food needs,” she says. “It hasn’t been raining for months so we can’t grow anything.”

As a result of drought, households have had to sell some of their livestock, agricultural tools, cattle and other goods to buy food. They have turned to so-called ‘dearth food’ such as red cactus to survive.  

“During difficult times, we only have a meal in the evening, which obviously is far from enough,” says Delphine. 

Water is also difficult to source. In her village, people have to walk up to 12 km to a neighboring village to find water. 

“Normally, we need three buckets of water a day,” she says. “But one bucket costs 1,000 ariary (USD 0.33) and it’s impossible for me to pay for three buckets a day.” 

To help people like Delphine access water during times of drought, Ambonaivo has been selected to be part of a food-for-assets (FFA) programme funded by USAID’s Food For Peace and implemented by WFP and partner organisation, Kiomba. As part of the programme, community members are rehabilitating a rain catchment basin. They are provided with a family ration of maize and pulses in return for the work.

This basin construction activity is part of a three-month FFA programme benefiting 75,000 people in Androy and Anosy regions which are the most severely affected by drought.

Participants were chosen in coordination with a seed distribution programme, the Diversification for Nutrition and Enhanced Resilience (DiNER), implemented by Catholic Relief Services (CRS). Seed distributions take place in market places where the beneficiary communities are gathered. WFP distributes agricultural tool kits to the most vulnerable households to help improve their crops.

“Collaboration between CRS and WFP was critical for this operation," says WFP Deputy Country Director Fatimata Sidibe Sow. "WFP provides the urgently needed food assistance while CRS helps the communities prepare for the upcoming planting season. We're grateful for the support of USAID which brings smile and hope to drought-hit populations. They've been affected by three consecutive years of crop losses and have started adopting negative strategies to survive."

FFA activities create useful community infrastructures and reduce the likelihood of seeds provided at the DiNer fairs being eaten rather than planted. 

“It’s been explained to us that the basin will ensure water availability for five to six months,” says Delphine. “Maybe we’ll no longer need to walk kilometers just for one bucket of water."

The current El Niño event means that the already drought-hit southern region of Madagascar is receiving significantly reduced rainfall. The USAID donation will help prevent a further deterioration of communities’ food security situation and help strengthen resilience.   



The south of Madagascar is suffering from recurrent drought, resulting in crop loss and affecting households’ access to food. 

01/27/2016 - 17:27

Ertharin Cousin also told the UN Security Council on Wednesday (27 Jan) that WFP’s work in Syria was being disrupted because UN resolutions were not being met. 

“To prevent people from imminent starvation, we need the support and action of every Council Member and every Member State,” she said.

“Preventing mass starvation requires more than a four-town agreement.

“Preventing a humanitarian crisis requires unimpeded and sustained access for humanitarian organizations to bring immediate relief – including food – to all those in need inside Syria.

“Preventing a humanitarian crisis requires humanitarian pauses and unconditional, monitored ceasefires to allow food and other urgent assistance to be delivered to civilians, to support the necessary vaccinations and other health campaigns.

“Preventing a humanitarian crisis as well as a food security and nutrition crisis requires a cessation of attacks on civilian infrastructure.

“Preventing a humanitarian crisis requires freedom of movement for all civilians and the immediate lifting of all sieges by all parties.     

“This is the only way to end hunger and to treat malnutrition, child by child, adult-by-adult, town by town.”

Resolutions “not to impede or hinder” assistance had not been fully realized, said the Executive Director, with more than 4.6 million people living in areas that are besieged or hard to reach.

Obstacles to WFP’s work included numerous checkpoints, the presence of security forces within warehouses, and extensive administrative procedures.

“The time for fully and collectively realizing the resolutions is long overdue,” said the Executive Director. 

“Access must not be arbitrary. Access must not be ad hoc. Access must not be one-time.
Effective access must not require unreasonable approvals. Access must be reasonably safe, regular, transparent and accountable.”

The consequences of restricted access had become clear, said the Executive Director:

“Every day, we receive alarming reports of lack of food, of lack of water, of acute malnutrition, and of death. 

“Let us not allow populations in other locations to suffer the same fate as Madaya…if they are not already suffering.

“Let us not allow the populations in other locations to suffer the same fate as Madaya…if they are not already suffering.

“As I speak to you now, we estimate that there are 18 besieged areas and close to half a million people completely cut off from food and other crucial humanitarian assistance.

In many of these areas, people are running out of food or may have already run out of food. We simply do not know. It is just a matter of time before the brutal images we have witnessed these past few weeks hit our screens again.”

The Executive Director reassured the Security Council that despite the challenges, WFP would continue trying to provide its best service.

She added: “We will continue our steadfast efforts, exhausting every means at our disposal, reaching every child, woman and man in Syria where we can.

“Yet we cannot and do not perform alone. Of course we work with the other members of the UN Country teams and our 40 NGO team partners.

“Paulo Coelho has said: ‘The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.’

“Our responsibility is to ensure that the decisions and choices made in this chamber, become a reality on the ground.

“This is the only way we can save and protect people, and enable healing for Syria’s next generation.”

Find out more 



World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director says the United Nations must unite to help avoid further suffering for those worst affected by the conflict in Syria.

01/27/2016 - 11:08
Cash and Vouchers, Responding to Emergencies

Wajale, Somaliland– “I have lived here for over 35 years and I’ve never experienced a drought like this,” said Asha Mohammed Jama, looking at the dry tawny land that used to produce enough food to support her family. Once, she was able to sell half her harvest to earn money, and keep the other half to meet her family’s food needs.

“For the past five years we have received too little rain. People used to have large herds, land was green, and there was plenty to share, but not anymore. Nothing grows and the animals are dying.”

This year, Asha’s small farm is not the only one with withered brown stumps of maize that failed to grow. All around Wajale and Gabiley, Somaliland’s breadbasket regions, fields lay empty, and lethargic, emaciated cows wander in search of pasture.

The rains have failed. Again. For the agropastrolist in Somaliland, rainwater is the ultimate lifeline.  When the rains fail, people’s livelihoods often fail, too, and their lives are at risk.

The young men who used to work on the farms have left, some seeking more promising opportunities in Somaliland’s capital, Hargeisa, and some heading further to Libya, seeking entry into Europe.

Migration is an option open only to young people, and mostly men, explained Asha. As a widowed mother of 15 children, many of whom are still young, she is tied to her village, hoping that soon the rains will return.

Searching For Pasture

Rather than watching their remaining animals die, some of Asha’s neighbors have crossed the border into Ethiopia in search of pasture, but Ethiopia is struggling with its own drought, the worst in decades, and pastoralists arriving from Somaliland find no respite there.

Mohammed Abdi* is one of those who trekked to Degehbur, the Somali regions of Ethiopia. He left Somaliland with 20 of his remaining cows, only to lose ten of them along the way due lack of water. An affable man, he is quick to flash smiles as he reminisces about better times, in the not-too-distant past when he was considered one of the richest men in his village due to his large herd of cows and camels.  Those times are gone.

He stayed in Degehbur for a month, and describes it as insufferably hot and dry.  He says the climate forced him to return to Somaliland, and he considers himself lucky to return with even a few animals. On the way back home, he encountered many people who had lost all their livestock, he said.

“Now, I am back here. I leave it to god,” he said, raising his eyes to sky.

Asha registers for cash-based assistance from WFP via a smartcard.

Vital Support

With no other safety net, vulnerable people have resorted to selling their possessions and borrowing money in order to provide food for their families. Unfortunately, that can push families into destitution and lifetime of debt.  But support from WFP means that people like Asha and Mohammed no longer have to resort to such means in order to feed their children. Both are receiving electronic cash-based transfers using a smartcard. The cards issued by WFP enable vulnerable people to purchase food from local shops, which they would not otherwise be able to afford. 

In rural settings, where markets are not functioning, regular rations of food assistance are invaluable in meeting people’s food needs.

The United Kingdom, USA, Germany and Sweden have provided critical support for WFP’s El Nino emergency response in Somalia, which has facilitated early action and emergency preparedness. This has allowed WFP to engage traders, and to pre-position food and logistical assets, including boats and a helicopter to reach people in locations in south and central Somalia where road access was compromised due to floods.

As part of the El Nino response, WFP has provided food and nutrition support to 46,000 people affected by floods in Middle Shabelle, Hiran, and Lower Juba. WFP is also assisting 60,000 people affected by the drought in Somaliland. 

WFP and its partners are monitoring the humanitarian situation in Somaliland and the rest of the country, and are ready to provide further assistance where needed.

*name has been changed.

Somalia’s rainy seasons are growing shorter and more erratic. In a country where most people make a living from livestock or farming, either too much or too little rainfall can destroy livelihoods and push families into destitution. The ongoing El Niño has led to floods in south and central Somalia, and intensified the dry conditions in other parts of the country, leading to a severe drought in Somaliland, where many people’s coping mechanisms are stretched to a breaking point.  The generous support from DFID, USAID, Germany and Sweden means WFP is able to support drought affected people in Somaliland in ways that are appropriate to each location. 

01/26/2016 - 03:45
School Meals

At Tbeng Primary School in Siem Reap, Cambodia, children line up to receive a hot breakfast. An 11-year old girl called Muon Malai is one of them. She says she loves learning, as she tucks into a dish of rice, fish, yellow split peas and vegetables. “I like to study, especially mathematics. I want to go to college some day and get a job,” she says. 

[quote|“I like to study, especially mathematics. I want to go to college some day and get a job.”]     

Muon Malai loves learning. Photo: WFP/Bushra Rahman

Helping children stay in school

Malai is one of 277,000 underprivileged children in highly food insecure parts of Cambodia currently receiving regular hot meals at school from the UN World Food Programme (WFP). These children are from the most marginalized and vulnerable communities, and they rely on this support to continue their primary education. The daily breakfast has been critical in assisting government efforts to improve access to primary education and increase enrolment, retention and graduation. Since the scheme began in 1999, primary enrolment has increased by more than 96 percent in Cambodia in areas where meals are provided.

Kids receiving breakfast before class. Photo: WFP/Bushra Rahman

“The WFP food helps the kids to stay alert and pay attention, retain more information and learn,” says Ms. Caem Saron, principal of Theng Primary School. “The delicious hot breakfast every morning is both an incentive for the children to come to school and an incentive for parents to send them – and this helps ensure they attend regularly. The food is better quality than they get at home as well. Most children in this area only get rice and vegetables at home – and a small amount of dried fish perhaps once a week.” 

Good food means better concentration in the classroom. Photo: WFP/Bushra Rahman

Tough choice - stay in school or support the family

At about 94.3 percent, net primary school enrolment is quite high for the region and has significantly improved in recent years. However, because of widespread poverty, especially in rural areas, many families in Cambodia have to choose between sending children to school and keeping them at home to support the family. Malai’s mother is a hardworking rice farmer, but the family also has the burden of taking care of other family members, including Malai’s disabled father. “She is a bright student. I am concerned that she would stop attending school if she didn’t get the scholarship support,” says Saron. 

School assembly. Photo: WFP/Bushra Rahman

Scholarships as an incentive

[publication|647444|642545] As an extra incentive for families to support their children’s education, WFP also provides a cash scholarship. Malai and 70,000 other children in Cambodia receive 20,000 riel (US$5) per month, or the equivalent amount in food, which is a significant amount in a country where close to a fifth of the population lives on less than US$1.25 per day. To receive the scholarship, children must attend school at least 80 percent of the time per month. . 

The government aims to establish, manage and fund a nationally owned school feeding programme by 2021. 

Widespread poverty in Cambodia, especially in rural areas, means many families have to choose between sending children to school or keeping them at home to support the family. Regular hot meals at school help increase enrolment, retention and graduation, meaning 11-year-old Muon Malai and many more like her can aim high. 

01/21/2016 - 12:41
Focus on Women

[video|648874]Nicole has to look after her children all by herself; her husband abandoned the family when day-to-day survival became harder and harder.

To support her family, she tries to do  household jobs, but this does not bring in enough money to feed her family.

“It is very difficult to have enough food to eat on a regular basis. I rely heavily on WFP’s assistance to eat, to have porridge for my baby,” she says.

Recently, Nicole fell ill and she couldn’t work. The children were forced to beg until Nicole got well enough to resume her work.

To show the extreme conditions in which she is living, Nicole shows her baby’s empty bowl of porridge, as a plea for more support. 

[quote|“It is very difficult to have enough food to eat on a regular basis. I rely heavily on WFP’s assistance to eat, to have porridge for my baby”]

Photo: WFP/Bruno Djoyo

Half the population of the Central African Republic faces hunger

The latest food security assessment in C.A.R. shows that half of the population – 2.5 million people – faces hunger. This marks a doubling in the number of hungry people over a one-year period. Three years of crisis have taken a huge toll. One in six people − more than half a million people − struggles with severe food insecurity, having to resort to extreme measures to get by such as begging, or selling what they own.

In December 2015, WFP provided food for nearly 400,000 people through general food distributions, cash-based transfers, nutrition support and school meals, and food-for-assets activities.

Photo: WFP/Adel Sarkozi

[donation-form|2016-wfp-car-webstory|2016-wfp-car-webstory|5268]WFP needs urgent support to continue to provide food and nutritional assistance to displaced and vulnerable communities as well as to support recovery efforts.

Right now, US$41 million is needed through the end of June, so WFP can respond to urgent needs both in the C.A.R. and in neighbouring countries hosting C.A.R. refugees. To date, WFP’s operation is only 45 percent funded.

Text by: Marie Paule Pagonendi, WFP CAR.

Nicole Sabiko, a young mom of 23 with four children, stepped into the new year the same way as she began the year before, and the one before that. Being displaced. Together with her children, she has been finding refuge at one of the many displaced people’s camps in Bangui, the capital of conflict-ravaged Central African Republic. How is she surviving?

01/20/2016 - 19:04

Farmer engagement is driven by multi-year commitments catalyzed through ‘patient’ buyer contracts. The pre-planting contracts specify minimum floor prices, timelines and quality standards so that farmers can plan beyond the farm gate.  

Increasing food security

[story|648840|648838]The platform will make it possible for farmers to plant, harvest and sell enough high-quality crops to boost their income and increase food security by facilitating their access to fair harvest contracts before planting begins, obtaining agricultural inputs to increase yields, and offering other forms of support from consortium members or other providers. 

This systemic change in markets will broaden the global supply base to meet increasing demand. WFP is leveraging its market knowledge, past experiences, global footprint and catalytic demand to help the platform reach its goal.   

The platform was introduced late last year and is now operating in three African markets. In Rwanda, 20,000 farmers have obtained contracts to sell a combined 8,000 metric tons (MT) of maize to a local buyer. In Tanzania, six local and regional buyers have joined WFP to contract 38,000 metric tons of maize and 5,000 metric tons of pigeon peas from 30,000 farmers who now have access to loans from local consortium member banks to expand production. In Zambia, three regional buyers have joined WFP to contract 17,000 metric tons of five different commodity crops from family farmers.

Engaging with over a million farmers

Over the next three years, the platform aims to engage 1.5 million farmers across 25 countries with US$750 million worth of contracts through a wide array of local, regional and international buyers.

The platform builds on WFP’s previous work through Purchase for Progress (P4P), which supported small-scale farmers to include the private sector, which provides extra demand, financing and inputs needed to bring efforts to scale and make the largest impact. Increasing food production and income opportunities is vital to building resilience and food security for the future. 


The Patient Procurement Platform, a new initiative by WFP and a consortium of end to end value chain actors, facilitates smallholder farmer participation across the entire value chain to raise their marketable surplus and hence livelihoods. 

01/20/2016 - 18:08

Three years ago, the leaders of UN humanitarian agencies issued an urgent appeal to those who could end the conflict in Syria. They called for every effort to save the Syrian people. “Enough”, they said, of the suffering and bloodshed. 

That was three years ago. 

Now, the war is approaching its sixth brutal year. The bloodshed continues. The suffering deepens. 

So today, we – leaders of humanitarian organisations and UN agencies - appeal not only to governments but to each of you - citizens around the world – to add your voices in urging an end to the carnage. To urge that all parties reach agreement on a ceasefire and a path to peace. 

More than ever before, the world needs to hear a collective public voice calling for an end to this outrage. Because this conflict and its consequences touch us all.

It touches those in Syria who have lost loved ones and livelihoods, who have been uprooted from their homes, or who live in desperation under siege. Today, some 13.5 million people inside Syria need humanitarian assistance. That is not simply a statistic. These are 13.5 million individual human beings whose lives and futures are in jeopardy.

It touches the families who, with few options for a better future, set out on perilous journeys to foreign lands in search of refuge. The war has seen 4.6 million people flee to neighbouring countries and beyond.

It touches a generation of children and young people who – deprived of education and traumatized by the horrors they have experienced – increasingly see their future shaped only by violence. 

It touches those far beyond Syria who have seen the violent repercussions of the crisis reach the streets, offices and restaurants closer to their homes. 

And it touches all those around the world whose economic wellbeing is affected, in ways visible and invisible, by the conflict. 

Those with the ability to stop the suffering can - and therefore should - take action now. Until there is a diplomatic solution to the fighting, such action should include: 

-    Unimpeded and sustained access for humanitarian organizations to bring immediate relief to all those in need inside Syria 

 -    Humanitarian pauses and unconditional, monitored ceasefires to allow food and other urgent assistance to be delivered to civilians, vaccinations and other health campaigns, and for children to return to school 

-    A cessation of attacks on civilian infrastructure – so that schools and hospitals and water supplies are kept safe 

-    Freedom of movement for all civilians and the immediate lifting of all sieges by all parties These are practical actions. 

There is no practical reason they could not be implemented if there is the will to do so. In the name of our shared humanity… for the sake of the millions of innocents who have already suffered so much… and for the millions more whose lives and futures hang in the balance, we call for action now. Now.

21 January 2016

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Chairperson, BRAC, Bangladesh
Zairulshahfuddin bin Zainal Abidin, Country Director, Islamic Relief Malaysia
Ryoko Akamatsu, Chairperson, UNICEF Japan
Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO, Plan International
Richard Allen, CEO, Mentor Initiative
Dr. Haytham Alhamwi, Director, Rethink Rebuild 
Steen M. Andersen, Executive Director, UNICEF Denmark
Barry Andrews, CEO, GOAL Ireland
Nancy A. Aossey, President and CEO, International Medical Corp
Bernt G. Apeland, Executive Director, UNICEF Norway 
Dr. Mohamed Ashmawey, CEO, Islamic Relief Worldwide
Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General, CEO, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
Lina Sergie Attar, co-founder and CEO, Karam Foundation
Carmelo Angulo Barturen, President, Spanish National Committee for UNICEF, 
Gudrun Berger, Executive Director, UNICEF Austria
Tomaž Bergoč, Executive Director, UNICEF Slovenia 
David Bull, Executive Director, UNICEF UK
Marie-Pierre Caley, CEO, ACTED
Adriano Campolina, Chief Executive, Actionaid
CARE Netherlands
Tineke Ceelen, Director, Stichting Vluchteling, Netherlands
Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization 
Jonny Cline, Executive Director, UNICEF Israel
Sarah Costa, Executive Director, Women’s Refugee Commission
Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director, World Food Programme
Emese Danks, Executive Director, UNICEF Hungary
Maryanne Diamond, Chair, International Disability Alliance 
Hisham Dirani, CEO, BINAA Organization for Development
Edukans, Netherlands
Jan Egeland, Secretary-General, Norwegian Refugee Council
Patricia Erb, President and CEO, Save the Children Canada
Sanem Bilgin Erkurt, Executive Director UNICEF National Committee for Turkey
Pierre Ferrari, President and CEO, Heifer International 
Amy Fong, Chief Executive, Save the Children Hong Kong
Justin Forsyth, CEO, Save the Children UK
Michel Gabaudan, President, Refugees International
Meg Gardinier, Secretary General, ChildFund Alliance
Global Call to Action against Poverty
Mark Goldring, Chief Executive, Oxfam Great Britain
Pavla Gomba, Executive Director, Czech Republic
Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Madalena Grilo, Executive Director, UNICEF Portugal
Noreen Gumbo, Head of Humanitarian Programmes, Trócaire
Handicap International, Belgium
Abdullah Hanoun, CEO, Syrian Community of the South West UK 
Heather Hayden, Chief Executive Officer, Save the Children New Zealand
Dr. Dirk Hegmanns, Regional Director Turkey/Syria/Iraq, Deutsche Welthungerhilfe
Anne-Marie Helland, General Secretary, Norwegian Church Aid 
Anne Hery, Director for Advocacy and Institutional Relations, Handicap International
International Organization for Migration, Netherlands 
W. Douglas Jackson, President and CEO, PROJECT C.U.R.E.
Wolfgang Jamann, Secretary General, Care International
Kevin Jenkins, President and CEO, World Vision International
Bergsteinn Jónsson, Executive Director, UNICEF Iceland
Benoit Van Keirsbilck, Director, DEI-Belgique
Thomas G. Kemper, General Secretary, General Board of Global Ministries, United Methodist Church
Neal Keny-Guyer, Chief Executive Officer, Mercy Corps
Kerk in Actie, Netherlands
Marja-Riitta Ketola, Executive Director, Finnish National Committee for UNICEF 
Peter Klansoe, Regional Director, Danish Refugee Council, Middle East North Africa region 
Pim Kraan, Director, Save the Children Netherlands
Marek Krupiński, Executive Director, UNICEF Poland
Dr. Hans Kuenzle, Chair, UNICEF Switzerland
Anthony Lake, Executive Director, UNICEF
Jane Lau, Chief Executive, UNICEF Hong Kong
Lavinia Limón, President and CEO, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
Jonas Keiding Lindholm, CEO Save the Children Denmark
Rosa G. Lizarde, Global Director, Feminist Task Force
Olivier Longue, CEO, Accion Contra el Hambre
John Lyon, President, World Hope International
Sébastien Lyon, Executive Director, UNICEF France
Dominic MacSorley, Chief Executive Officer, Concern Worldwide
Dirk Van Maele, Director, Plan België
Cécil Van Maelsaeke, Director, Tearfund, Belgium 
Vivien Maidaborn, Executive Director, UNICEF New Zealand 
Blanca Palau Mallol, President, UNICEF Andorra
Rev. John L. McCullough, President and CEO, Church World Service
Carolyn Miles, President and CEO, Save the Children USA
David Miliband, President and CEO, International Rescue Committee
Mr. Juraj Mišura, President, UNICEF Slovakia
James Mitchum, Chief Executive Officer, Heart to Heart International
David Morley, President and CEO, UNICEF Canada 
John Nduna, General Secretary, ACT Alliance
Stephen O’Brien, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator
Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund
Ignacio Packer, Secretary-General, Terre des Hommes International Federation
People in Need
Dato Dr Ahmad Faizal Perdaus, President, Mercy Malaysia
Plan, Norway
Peter Power, Executive Director, UNICEF Ireland
Sarina Prabasi, Chief Executive Officer, WaterAid America
Chris Proulx, President and CEO, LINGOS, United States
Dr. Jihad Qaddour, President, Syria Relief and Development 
Red Cross, Netherlands
Curtis N. Rhodes Jr., International Director, Questscope
Michel Roy, Secretary General, Caritas International
Paolo Rozera, Executive Director, UNICEF Italy
Dr. Tessie San Martin, President and CEO, Plan International USA
Christian Schneider, Executive Director, UNICEF Germany
Rev. Thomas H. Smolich, S.J. International Director, Jesuit Refugee Service
Janti Soeripto, Interim CEO, Save the Children, International 
SOS Kinderdorpen, Netherlands 
Marie Soueid, Policy Counsel, Center for Victims of Torture 
Caryl M. Stern, President and CEO, U.S. Fund for UNICEF
John Stewart, President, UNICEF Australia
Odd Swarting, Chair, UNICEF Sweden
William L. Swing, Director General, International Organization for Migration 
Florence Syevuo, Global Call to Action against Poverty, Kenya 
Daigo Takagi, Association for Aid and Relief, Japan
Tearfund, UK
Constantine M. Triantafilou, Executive Director and CEO, International Orthodox Christian Charities
Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary, World Council of Churches
Monique van ‘t Hek, Director, Plan Nederland 
Dr. William Vendley, Secretary General, Religions for Peace
Pierre Verbeeren, Director, Medecins du Monde, Belgium 
Damien Vincent, Executive Director, UNICEF Belgium
Sandra Visscher, Executive Director, UNICEF Luxembourg
Tove Wang, CEO, Save the Children Norway
David A. Weiss, President and CEO, Global Communities
Kathrin Wieland, CEO, Save the Children Germany
Jan Bouke Wijbrandi, Executive Director, UNICEF Netherlands,
Nancy E. Wilson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Relief International
Carolyn Woo, President and CEO, Catholic Relief Services
Daniel Wordsworth, President and CEO, American Refugee Committee
Samuel A. Worthington, CEO, InterAction 
Leila Zerrougui, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict
Mohammad Zia-ur-Rehman, Chief Executive, AwazCDS and Pakistan Development Alliance

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