WFP official dispels doubts on aid community’s early response capacity

When another drought strikes the Horn of Africa, the aid community can now act quickly to prevent the situation from escalating into a crisis similar to last year’s. That’s the message Christine van Nieuwenhuyse, director of the World Food Program’s Brussels office, gave to Devex Editor Rolf Rosenkranz at the 2012 European Development Days.

The massive damage to life and livelihood of the East Africa drought has left the impression that the aid community lacks the capacity to respond early to disasters.

“We have learned our lessons,” van Nieuwenhuyse said, adding that donor governments no longer have to hear news on disasters before they act and are now more “sensitized” to the needs of humanitarian aid groups like WFP.

Watch the conversation between Rosenkranz and van Nieuwenhuyse on WFP’s partnership with other humanitarian organizations and donors like the European Commission, part of a series of conversations we video-taped with global development leaders in the center of the action at last week’s EDD.

Check out our complete coverage of European Development Days 2012.

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