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Humanitarian Diplomacy & Failed States: Case Study of the WFP Operations in Somalia

Mayank Bubna is Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi.
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  • May 07, 2010

    Most aid groups have pulled out of Somalia because of the continuing dangers. Yet, the World Food Program (WFP) continues to operate in the region, and has been doing so for the past two decades. This paper is an examination of why and how the WFP has managed to stick around in a place long after other humanitarian aid agencies have left. Its long-standing presence and its “humanitarian diplomacy” have been key factors in its success equation – in exchange for access to civilians with dire needs, the WFP has been more ready than its counterparts to take risks and negotiate with local power brokers; despite the array of humanitarian norms and laws, it has, in its quest for providing assistance and saving lives, also revised some of its own principles (albeit in a clandestine fashion).

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