8 Humanitarians Who Fight Hunger For A Living

Every day, humanitarian workers around the world make sacrifices and face danger in order to reach people who need their help. As we recognize their commitment and dedication on World Humanitarian Day (August 19), here are eight humanitarians who fight hunger for a living.

ROME—A food monitor travels deep into the field to ensure that food assistance is reaching the people who need it.

World Humanitarian Day

This year, the UN and its partners are launching a campaign called The world needs more. This first-of-its-kind project will quite literally turn words into aid.

A logistician plots supply routes across the desert to deliver food to people hit by an emergency. A food security analyst uses cutting-edge mapping technology to predict the effects of a recent drought.

They assist millions of people, from children getting an education with the help of a nutritious meal in school, to families rebuilding their lives in the wake of a disaster.

The humanitarian crisis in Syria has put the importance of humanitarian work into stark relief as aid workers struggle to reach huge numbers of people in the midst of a long and bitter conflict. 

In recognition of their sacrifices and dedication, here are eight examples of humanitarian workers making a difference on the front lines of hunger.

Thomas D'Aquin, Burkina Faso

Thomas D'Aquin

Three days after joining WFP’s operation in Burkina Faso, Thomas D’Aquin was tasked with finding a way to reach areas cut off by flooding with badly-needed food assistance. He and his colleagues found a novel solution in traditional means of transport. It was just one of the challenges he’s encountered while working with WFP. Read more

Maran Narma, Liberia

Maran Narma

When Maran Narma was younger, she and her family fled their home in rural Liberia to escape the violence engulfing the country. While displaced from her home, she received food assistance from WFP. The experience spurred her to join WFP later in life as a programme officer. Maran tells us about her life at both ends of WFP's work. Read more

Khin Moe Aye, Myanmar

Khin Moe Aye

After lecturing at Yangon University, Khin Moe Aye decided to move into humanitarian work in her own country. Now a programme officer in the Yangon Country Office, an important part of her job is to battle food insecurity and manage tensions between the groups of people she helps. Khin tells us about some of the challenges she's faced while delivering food to remote parts of the country. Read more

Luis Vergara, Panama

Brett Hanley

Right after WFP opened its new Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean in Panama 10 years ago, Luis Vergara became a driver for the regional office. Braving flat tires and traffic jams, Luis also had the opportunity to work in an emergency operation during an outbreak of flooding in his native Panama.Read more

Brett Hanley, Ethiopia

Haya Abassi

With an education in International Humanitarian Action and background experience working for NGOs, Canadian Brett Hanley was well positioned to take on the challenge of working for WFP's offices in Ethiopia. It’s a long way from her roots in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. We asked Brett about her life and work with WFP. Read more

Haya Abassi, Jordan

Bouavone Phasouk

Haya Abassi is a native of Palestine. Since joining WFP, she’s worked across the Middle East from Libya and Tunisia to Jordan. Her role has put her on the front lines of more than one humanitarian emergency in the region. Today, she manages a food and voucher programme for refugees from Syria. Read more


Bouavone Phasouk, Lao PDR

Bouavone Phasouk

Bouavone Phasouk runs a WFP office in a remote part of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. She’s the only woman on her team, but doesn’t let that stop her from walking hours through the jungle or driving across dangerous provincial roads to get food to those who need it most. Read more


Enoc Solis, Bolivia

Enoc Soli with young girls and boys and WFP staff holding a WFP flag

After spending years as a dedicated volunteer for WFP, Enoc Solis now monitors food aid deliveries in Bolivia. His experience with WFP has inspired him to continue on the path of humanitarian work, bringing relief and help to people who need it the most. Enoc tells us about his most cherished as well as most frightening moments while working for WFP. Read more