The Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of the most malnourished countries on earth, with over 4.6m children acutely malnourished, including 2.2m children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. The country is also facing an epidemic of sexual violence. Spiraling humanitarian needs and the rapid escalation in grave protection violations against women and children in the DRC should be of concern to everyone.
In Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, the ongoing threat of horrific acts by the insurgency of Boko Haram coupled with the worse drought in recent history have made tending of the land and harvesting of crops nearly impossible for rural populations. This double scourge is pushing millions of Nigerians beyond the brink.
Thiago Resende Xavier (Brazil) is a UN Volunteer Programme Policy Officer with the World Food Programme (WFP) in Pakistan.
Guatemala city, Guatemala: While serving as a UN Volunteer Finance Officer with the World Food Programme (WFP) in Guatemala, I had the opportunity to participate in pilot projects in the area of Finance. The whole financial framework of the WFP is in a process of transition towards higher transparency, cost efficiency and accountability. I was excited to contribute to this transformation.
With on-going efforts to mitigate the spread of the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone, UNV is strategically partnering with United Nations entities in the country to mobilize volunteers to assist and facilitate the process. In collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP) and with the support of WFP Country Director Gon Myers, this was a unique opportunity for UNV to engage local youth volunteers.
“The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has so far claimed over 5,000 lives in the three most affected countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. While the death and suffering caused by Ebola is immediate and must be stopped, the socio-economic impact of the disease will last long after Ebola has been brought under control,” says Gina Casar, UNDP Associate Administrator. “UNDP is leading on early recovery efforts, and supporting nationally-led efforts to address the crisis.”
Guatemala City, Guatemala: After my master’s degree in economics, I decided to change my career perspective to work in the humanitarian sector, in cooperation and development. I had two objectives: to fulfil the dream of knowing new cultures and countries, and to contribute, even in a small part, to improving the living conditions of people in developing countries.
Mananjary, Madagascar: In the district of Mananjary in south-eastern Madagascar, an ancestral practice exists which involves abandoning twin babies. Thanks to the intervention of the United Nations System (the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Childrens Fund and the World Food Programme) over several years, many voices have been able to advocate the abolition of this tradition, which violates the fundamental rights of children.
Iriba, Chad: Zo Eorintany from Madagascar is a UN Volunteer with the World Food Programme (WFP) in Iriba in Eastern Chad where she has been assigned since July 2010. Before going to Chad, she worked with WFP in her home country for eight years, and says, “I felt, I could help somewhere else, where people would be even more in need.”
Zo has a background in law and dreamed of becoming a magistrate. But when she joined WFP in 2002, her path took another direction. “I really believe in what WFP does, because we provide food assistance directly to refugees,” she says.