Blog Posts by Kristele Younes

October 05, 2009 Kristele Younes Pakistan, United Nations
ISLAMABAD -- The mandate of the UN World Food Program (WFP) is to feed the hungry and the poor. It is an agency which only has one purpose --- to help the needy. That did not protect its staff from the wrath of Pakistani militants, one of whom blew himself up today in the offices of the WFP in Islamabad. The casualties will be far greater than those killed or injured by the blast. This attack will impact the future of the UN in Pakistan. It will also affect millions of Pakistanis who depend on the WFP assistance to survive.
July 17, 2009 Kristele Younes Afghanistan, Humanitarian Response

The Obama administration is a much stronger supporter of the United Nations than the Bush administration was. But even for those who strongly believe in multilateralism -- and who want to see the UN play a larger role in international relations, humanitarian assistance and nation-building -- it can be difficult to understand the mandate and work of individual agencies and the cumbersome bureaucracy that sometimes prevents swift action.

April 10, 2009 Kristele Younes Iraq, Iraq Campaign, Humanitarian Response

Last month, my colleagues and I travelled around the center of Iraq -- formerly the most violent part of the country -- and visited infamous places such as Eskanderia, in the so-called "Sunni triangle of death" and Fallujah, in Anbar province. Everywhere we went, we met with aid workers, local and central government officials, and of course with displaced Iraqis or families who recently returned to their homes. We spent two weeks trying to find an answer to the key question all displaced Iraqis ask themselves: Can they return home?

June 09, 2008 Kristele Younes Afghanistan
Yesterday, Laura Bush was in Afghanistan, hailing the progress made since 2001 in the reconstruction process. She spent nine hours total in country, flying from Kabul to Bamyan, where she stayed within the four walls of a New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team compound. From there, the media reported, she could see the empty spaces left by the destruction of the giant Buddhas in 2001, the world’s best-known reminder of the Taliban brutality.