As the 10-year mark of the Syrian crisis approaches, questions arise about protracted conflict and the humanitarian principle of neutrality.

Photo by Sohaib Ghyasi on Unsplash

At the onset of an emergency, humanitarian agencies provide food, healthcare, and protection from displacement. The response is designed to help people cope with conflict as a parenthesis to peace, as defined by the primary humanitarian action principle: humanity.

However, in situations where conflict becomes protracted — lasting months, years, if not decades — emergency assistance appears insufficient. Life and dignity are not enough to maintain society, industry, and development.

Humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence the four humanitarian principles adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, provide the foundations for humanitarian action.

In a 2020 opinion piece, Hugo Slim argues…


O encerramento das escolas não significa apenas uma perda na educação, mas também a perda de uma fonte fiável de nutrição.

Das 1,7 milhões de crianças em Portugal, 321 000 (19%) estão em risco de pobreza — segundo um relatório da unicef portugal de 2020 — e 229 849 beneficiam de refeições subsidiadas pela Acção Social Escolar.

Photo by Ricardo Resende on Unsplash

O encerramento das escolas no combate à pandemia não significa apenas uma perda na educação. Para muitas crianças, significa também a perda de uma fonte fiável de nutrição. Já em Abril de 2020, o Banco Alimentar alertava para o crescimento de pedidos de ajuda de agregados familiares e as consequências do encerramento de creches e escolas, onde muitas crianças tinham garantidas refeições.

Em Janeiro…


How the World Food Programme’s geospatial support unit stepped up in a year of challenges, complexity and creative vision

A young girl cycles away from the impending storm in Virac, Catanduanes, on 16 December. WFP is providing support to local communities in Catanduanes, Philippines, following the devastating effects of Typhoon Goni. Photo: WFP/Arete/Angelo Mendoza

For well over a decade, geospatial technology has sustained informed decision-making in WFP, helping stakeholders develop insight into complex dynamics during major emergencies.

Geographic information systems (GIS) provide actionable information that improves disaster management strategies and programme planning. Annually, the geospatial unit produces an average of 2,000 maps — 80 percent for immediate emergency support.

Currently, WFP has integrated geospatial applications into several functional areas, and its activities have grown in complexity.


World Food Programme and Food and Agriculture Organization join their partners to mark a decade of collaboration

South Sudan: Fishing kits and seeds provided by FAO as part of a rapid-response mission with WFP, Oxfam and Save the Children. Photo: FAO

Last week in Rome, the global Food Security Cluster — of organizations working to move humanitarian workers, and food assistance around the world — marked its 10th anniversary at a Global Partners meeting with a virtual meeting of 200 participants.

Spearheaded by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), the Food Security Cluster (FSC) enables a range of partners, globally and at country level, to deliver life-saving food and livelihoods assistance in more than 30 countries.

In their opening remarks, FAO Director-General QU Dongyu and WFP Deputy-Executive Director Amir Abdulla, highlighted…

Barbara Pereira Mendes

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