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WFP Looks To Improve Aid Delivery In Volatile Environments, BMJ News Reports

BMJ News examines how the World Food Program (WFP) has started consulting with members of the business, humanitarian and military sectors in an effort to ensure aid reaches the world’s hungry, particularly those in regions hit by natural disasters or other volatile environments.

“Every day we face severe dangers and obstacles as we seek to ensure food reaches the hungry safely and effectively,” WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran said. “I want to tap the best minds in the world – including from businesses – to ensure maximum supply chain security and controls in volatile and destructed environments. We will examine the most technologically advanced methods of tracking and delivering food and seek to implement these approaches in our high risk operations,” she said.

The article highlights how businesses’ effective distribution of supplies could be used to inform the WFP and notes that “[t]he military also has much to offer in terms of advising on delivering supplies and risk management, although most aid agencies are wary of involving armed forces in delivering relief.”

“Seeking advice and learning from others’ experience is different from the delivery of aid,” said Ian Bray, a humanitarian affairs spokesman for Oxfam. “There does always have to be, and [be] seen to be, clear blue water between humanitarian aid operations and military ones. The blurring of these roles is highly dangerous,” he added.

The article also includes comments on military involvement in humanitarian response by Susannah Sirkin, deputy director of Physicians for Human Rights (Moszynski, 5/24).