humanitarian

I was part of a Unicef team that joined with five other UN agencies on a recent humanitarian assessment mission to Syria's south. The aim was to assess the situation in Dara'a, deliver emergency supplies, and meet with partner agencies.
According to the latest update from Doctors Without Borders/ Medecins Sans Frontieres, three hospitals in Syria's Damascus governorate that are supplied by Doctors Without Borders reported that they received approximately 3,600 patients displaying neurotoxic symptoms such as convulsions, excess saliva, pinpoint pupils, blurred vision and respiratory distress, in less than three hours on Wednesday.
David Cameron told the World Economic Forum in Davos at the beginning of the year that the priority for his chairmanship of the G8 would be tax transparency. Development agencies like Concern Worldwide have taken the Prime Minister at his word.
Learning and accountability is firmly on the NGO agenda nowadays and for Action Against Hunger, it is something we take very seriously. We dedicate a lot of energy into evaluating our programmes, learning from them and, fundamentally, holding ourselves to account for them.
In August last year, I wrote an op-ed for the International Herald Tribune calling for Western powers to arm the Syrian insurgents. Over six months later, the case is even more compelling than before.
In collective shelters for displaced families, in quieter parts of the city, I witnessed grief over life that has been lost. I met families who have lost their belongings and a more dignified life. But I also saw resilience and a strong sense of community.
Most population growth is happening in the developing world. The clue is in the name - many developing nations are on their way up. Endeavouring to curb population growth can only be a positive thing. Many of the actions we could take are intrinsically humanitarian in themselves.
I walked around to see how children in Homs are living. In a convent that works with children, situated at the end of a line of fully standing buildings and right before the destruction and rubble begins, I was amazed to find children reading books, listening to teachers, drawing pictures and playing games. The drawings on the walls spoke of smiling faces, waving hands, laughter and messages about the need to forgive. A total contrast to the rubble outside that represents so many battered lives.
The world did not end today. At least, not for you. Not for me. In places like Syria and Pakistan, individual worlds will come to an end because of hatred, greed and violence.
What are the first things you would grab if you were forced to leave your home tomorrow? Not many people would answer that question with "contraceptives."