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UN World Food Programme Celebrates ‘Heroes Among Us’ On World Humanitarian Day

ROME – The World Food Programme (WFP) is joining other organizations and agencies around the globe in advance of World Humanitarian Day on 19 August to bring attention to the heroes who risk their lives every day to help people in need.

These humanitarian heroes put themselves in danger transporting food around the world, distributing it in areas besieged by conflict or ravaged by natural disaster, and running the programmes that help millions of children, women and men build their futures.

In the course of serving others, several of our beloved colleagues have been tragically killed in the field. Since the last World Humanitarian Day, Ayman Omar, WFP’s head of security for Syria and the region, was killed in a road accident on July 28. He truly embodied the humanitarian spirit that this day celebrates. And in the past year, four truck drivers lost their lives while delivering WFP food: Abdull Ahad in Afghanistan; Willy Wenagbili in Democratic Republic of Congo; Kakooza Abdalla Yusuf in Rwanda and Housien Hammoud in Syria.

“World Humanitarian Day is a day to remember our ‘humanitarian heroes’. The colleagues who lost their lives while serving others,” said WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin. “But it’s also a day to celebrate our everyday heroes -- the WFP staff and partners who work tirelessly to help build the future we all want, a future of zero hunger in which everyone will thrive.”

In total, there are nearly 14,200 humanitarian heroes working for WFP. They come from 158 nations and are deployed in 99 countries around the world. A small selection of their stories will be highlighted at

Along with highlighting staff stories on its website and through social media, WFP is participating in the United Nations social media campaign with the theme #TheWorldNeedsMore #HumanitarianHeroes, and is encouraging individuals to visit Here, visitors can learn about those working in the field and also make a difference themselves by raising their voices on the most pressing issues of the day.


Journalists wishing to interview WFP staff in the field, please contact  Tel, +39 6513 3873  and Mob. +39 348 024 4246.


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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food in emergencies and working with communities to build resilience. In 2013, WFP assisted more than 80 million people.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media

For more information please contact (email address:

Emilia Casella, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 6513 3854, Mob. +39 347 9450634

Gregory Barrow, WFP/London,  Mob.  +44 7968 008474

Steve Taravella, WFP/Washington, Tel. +1 202-653-1149, Mob. +1-202-770-5993

Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Mob. +20 1066634352. Tel. +202 2528 1730 ext. 2600

Challiss McDonough, WFP/Nairobi, Tel: +254-707-722-104