Hacking Hunger Episode #26: One Father’s Reflections From Syria

13 minute listen
Emergency Response Syria Hacking Hunger
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Podcast Summary

Escalating violence in Eastern Ghouta has dominated recent news coverage of the conflict in Syria as humanitarians struggle to reach families trapped without food. Jakob Kern has witnessed the turmoil firsthand as head of the U.N. World Food Programme’s operation in Damascus for the last two years. As the conflict enters its 8th year, hear what Jakob has seen—and what the headlines often miss.

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Guest Bio: Jakob Kern

For the past two and a half years, Jakob Kern has managed the most complicated humanitarian operation on the planet. As the Country Director for the World Food Programme (WFP) in Syria, he oversees the delivery of lifesaving food assistance to more than 3 million people inside the country whose lives have been disrupted by war. From high-altitude airdrops and truck convoys to reach besieged communities to beekeeping operations and homegrown school meals, Kern and his staff of 300 dedicated aid workers are doing whatever they can to feed families in need.

WFP's Country Director in Syria, Jacob Kern, talks with Syrian children in Aleppo as formerly displaced families began returning to the city.
WFP/Hussam Al-Saleh
WFP’s Country Director in Syria, Jacob Kern, talks with Syrian children in Aleppo as formerly displaced families began returning to the city.

“A lot of our staff are displaced themselves; they had to move houses because they got bombed. Just the other day, one staffer thought she had a bomb hitting her car in front of her house.

This is reality that they are facing. The war is not happening somewhere away; the war is happening right where everybody lives.”

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