THE World Food Programme (WFP) Country Representative, Michael Dunford has hailed aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service.
He said aid workers, who serve as the link between charitable organisations and those in needs around the world, have always risked their lives and some killed in their course of duty.
“We recognize and pay tribute to all humanitarian workers in WFP and in other organisations.
They are doing a great work. Without them we would not be able to deliver,” he told the Daily News in interview held on the eve of World Humanitarian Day which is marked today.
World Humanitarian Day is held every year on August to pay tribute to aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service and to rally support for people affected by crises around the world.
He said this year’s Humanitarian Day has been dedicated to women aid workers who have risked their lives to help other people.
“We focus on the unsung heroes, who have long been working on the front lines in their own communities in some of the most difficult terrains, from the warwounded in Afghanistan, to the food insecure in the Sahel, to those who have lost their homes and livelihoods in places such as Central African Republic, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen,” he said. “And we salute the efforts of women aid workers from across the world, who rally to people in need.”
The WFP Country Rep said women make up a large number of those who risk their own lives to save others and are often the first to respond and the last to leave. “These women deserve to be celebrated.
They are needed today as much as ever to strengthen the global humanitarian response. And world leaders as well as non-state actors must ensure that they – and all humanitarians – are guaranteed the protection afforded to them under international law,” he said.
WFP, the largest humanitarian organisation fighting hunger, is supporting about 360,000 refugees in Tanzania to meet their basic food and nutrition needs and has been supporting government efforts to combat malnutrition in all its forms.
WFP had also partnered with the government to develop a transport infrastructure by supporting the resurgence of a once-dormant central corridor and launch of the Lake Victoria rail-lake-rail corridor to transport food from Dar es Salaam to Kampala, Uganda.
The corridor solidifies Tanzania’s position as a strategic gateway to a number of landlocked countries in the region — and it underscores how an efficient supply chain is fundamental for economic growth.
In 2017, 200,000 metric tons of WFP food assistance — enough to feed almost one million people for a year — was transported using Tanzania’s supply chain services, injecting 23 million US dollars into the economy. WFP is also buying maize and other food stuff locally to supply to the refugees in Uganda and East and Central African region. L ast year it bought 180,000 metric tonnes of maize in Tanzania.