Acronyms Dictionary

The humanitarian world is full of acronyms. At first they are bewildering, but soon they just become part of the everyday language here and you forget you are speaking another whole language…
MSFF – Medians san Frontiers France, doctors without boarders french section, the organisation I am working for currently. Fiercely independent, providing emergency medicine, usually in difficult conditions.
MSFH – MSF Holland, and I guess there is a MSFB around as Belgium have a mission here as well in Sudan.
NGO’s – non governmental organizations… random bunches of tree hugging lefty do gooders who are not affiliated directly with national governments or the UN.
ACF – Action Contra Famine, action against hunger, another French outfit which concentrates on food distribution, water and sanitation (see watsan). Friendly fun group in Bentiu, come complete with alcohol, but don’t swap F100 (see below) with them.
Watsan – water and sanitation, a general term for an area taken for granted in the developed world, providing safe clean water, and then providing a place for all that fluid to go after being used for washing, cleaning, drinking and crapping.
F100 – special milk powder for malnourished patients, comes in foil packets that make two liters… bane of my life this week as it can go off (organolepic change?) before the expiry date for no apparent reason if stored with ACF.
BP5 – another product for the malnourished, sort of like a compressed bar of crumbly milk powder… edible but you certainly need some water to wash it down. There is also plumpynut, which is like peanut butter and milk powder mixed together sealed into a foil pouch, I’m sure I would have like it as a kid, but only just edible now.
CSB – corn starch something, yellow powder that is cooked into porridge for the clinic patients, I have yet to try some.
UNWFP – World Food Program, the branch of the UN that cruises around provided vast stocks of food, most of it here stamped USAID.
GAA – German Ago Action, some sort of agricultural NGO and is the main partner to the WFP here in Bentiu.
UNDP – UN Development Program
UNMIS – United Nations Mission in Sudan, the armed component of the UN in the southern Sudan region, complete with white tanks and blue berets.
UN Observers – the unarmed UN guys here who simply have to try and keep talking to everybody on all side of the conflict, also complete with blue berets.
OCHA – UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, unsure of their exact role except providing some slow but free wireless internet access for my computer.
IDP’s – internally displaced persons, the term used instead of refugee when people have to flee their homes but don’t actually cross any international boarders.
SPLA – Sudan People’s Liberation Army, the official army of the south now, which all other armed militia are meant to join.
GOS – Government of Sudan, the rulers of the north of Sudan under dictator Omar Al Basher who is responsible for the blood shed here and in Dafur.
CPA – Comprehensive Peace Agreement, signed 9th Jan two years ago between SPLA and GOS which allows for a referendum in 2011 on independence for southern Sudan, expected by many to fail to keep the peace due to oil interest in the area.
SFC – Supplementary Feeding Centre, providing extra food for mildly malnourished patents.
TFC – Therapeutic Feeding Centre, providing treatment for severally malnourished patients.

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