WFP (2013) Protection in Practice: Food Assistance with Safety and Dignity
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Material assistance to populations – alleviating the suffering of those affected by conflict, natural disaster, structural marginalization or human rights abuses – has long been a cornerstone of the humanitarian mission. Over the past two decades, humanitarians have broadened their vision to emphasize the protection of civilians from violence, coercion and rights violations as integral components of relief operations. Calls to engage in humanitarian protection – assuring civilians’ safety, rights and dignity alongside material assistance – have become central to discussions surrounding humanitarian agencies’ roles and responsibilities.
This report, with illustrative examples, describes the emerging notion of protection within humanitarian thought and practice, and summarizes WFP’s approach to integrating protection concerns within its food-assistance activities. It draws lessons from WFP’s experience in the field, exploring how WFP’s various operations provide opportunities for protection. It also highlights how the challenges WFP faces limit
its role in the protection of civilians.