World Humanitarian Day 2016: Staff profiles

World Humanitarian Day 2016: Staff profiles

When it comes to its humanitarian work, FAO is in it for the long haul

Celebrated every 19 August, World Humanitarian Day provides an annual reminder of the continuing need for collective action to alleviate suffering and want around the globe. It is also an occasion to honour the humanitarian workers and volunteers toiling on the frontlines of crises. Today, we reflect on FAO’s activities in humanitarian situations and pay tribute to our dedicated team who are working in the field to build a world free from hunger.

Each year, millions of people who depend on the production, marketing and consumption of crops, livestock, fish, forests and other natural resources are confronted by a variety of disasters and crises that threaten either their food security, their livelihoods, or both. The repercussions can be felt at local, national and, at times, regional and global levels. When the worst happens and people find themselves unable to feed or shelter themselves, humanitarian responses that provide emergency food, water, health and shelter represent critical, life-saving interventions.

However, the longer-term work that goes into helping communities build their resilience to such events, cope with them as they unfold, and recover once they subside, presents a unique set of challenges. These are the challenges that FAO and its partners are wrestling with each day in places like Syria, South Sudan, Central America’s Dry Corridor, Papua New Guinea, Nigeria and Central African Republic.

FAO can’t do this work without its staff and partners who work tirelessly to improve the food security in conflict and crisis-affected countries – and they do this in areas that are becoming increasingly complex, dangerous and unpredictable. Read more about the work of our dedicated staff.

  • Matteo TONINI has worked for FAO since 2012 and is the Emergency Coordinator in Angola.
  • Simoen NGUELE is a logistics assistant in Bangui, the Central African Republic, where FAO is working to revitalize the country’s agriculture sector.
  • Borja MIGUELEZ has worked in humanitarian contexts in Africa, Asia and Latin America for the last 16 years, and has been FAO’s Emergency Coordinator in Lesotho since 2012.
  • George MVULA is from Malawi and has been working for FAO for 12 years in a number of challenging contexts, including in Somalia, South Sudan and the Gambia.
  • Prosperidad ABONETE has recently joined FAO as the DRR/AAP and Gender Specialist in the conflict-affected province of Mindanao, in the Philippines.
  • Ken SHIMIZU has been working for FAO for almost a decade and is currently the head of office in Papua New Guinea, where FAO is assisting El Niño-affected farmers.
  • Rados CVETIC is the acting head of operations for the South Sudan office, where he has been working for the past three years on the emergency livelihood response programme.
  • Baligha Ali Saeed TAKAN has been working for FAO in Sudan for four years and with various UN agencies and NGOs in humanitarian and development interventions for 16 years.
  • Yamen JASEM is a field monitor in the south of Syria, where FAO is working to improve the food security in one of the worst humanitarian conflicts in the world.
  • Mohamed SYLLA is Guinean and is FAO's Food Security Expert in the West Africa/Sahel region.
  • Anna RICOY has been working for FAO for nine years and is currently the regional Disaster Risk Management Officer based in Santiago, Chile and works in FAO’s regional office for Central and South America.
  • Alberto BIGI is the emergency and disaster risk management officer for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, based in Panama.
  • Fadel EL ZUBI has worked for the UN for over 20 years, and mostly with FAO where he is currently the head of office in Iraq.