By H. Young. 2007. Disasters 31(S1): S40 – S56.
The humanitarian crisis in Darfur remains extremely serious. The optimism that followed the signing of the Abuja Peace Accord was followed by a rapid deterioration in security on the ground in part associated with increasing factionalism in various rebel movements. This paper briefly reviews the evolution of the crisis, its impact on lives and livelihoods and the response by the World Food Programme (WFP) to June 2006. The major challenges and issues facing the food aid programme in the previous 18 months included: dealing with insecurity while maintaining or even extending programme outreach; the need to link protection with assistance more explicitly; and determining the wider impact of food aid programming on the processes and institutions linked with the conflict. The paper discusses the main strategic issues facing WFP in the future such as: integrating security and protection with needs assessments and operational decisions, broadening response strategies beyond food aid and bringing livelihoods to the fore, the need to review cost-efficiency, promoting partnerships and strengthening national and regional capacities.