The Compass Edge

about is a web project maintained by Brian Jones to log his and others' experiences while traveling to and working in regions off the standard travel map.

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Introduction by Brian Jones

Mother with child showing severe acute malnutrition, Sudan, 1998. Sadly, the number of complex humanitarian emergencies is increasing and it is all too common to read of “yet another” disaster, be it natural, man made or, all too frequently, both together.

The media plays a large part in our exposure to these “emergencies”. How often have we turned on the television or picked up a newspaper or magazine and been confronted by desperate stories of death, destruction and destitution?

All too often, it is easy to view emergencies as disconnected from one’s own daily life, happening to ‘exotic’ people in far away locations. All too often the stories present faceless horrors against largely faceless people.

The aim of this site is to provide a personal view of people working in these emergencies and, most importantly, of the people living the emergencies. This site will endeavour to provide written, visual and audio reports that portrays the human face of those affected and is currently under construction.

Brian Jones

Brian Jones was born in Malaysian East Borneo where he lived until the age of four. He spent most of his childhood in the UK but on leaving school spent time in Borneo learning Malay and studying indigenous grass roots opposition to commercial logging (e.g. Dyak road blockades of commercial logging companies in Sarawak). At university he studied anthropology, which allowed him to focus on his interest in human interactions with the natural world.

After graduation he worked both as an archaeologist and as a teacher, both within and outside the UK. A fascination with language and identity took him to Palestine to study Arabic at Birzeit University near Ramallah (). Whilst in Palestine, Brian was profoundly affected by the ongoing conflict and the hugely detrimental affects that this was having on the population.

Having witnessed the direct effect of conflict on the livelihood of the population, Brian decided to focus on Public Health, Nutrition and food security in complex humanitarian emergencies. Brian qualified as a Public Health Nutritionist from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and has been working ever since in a series of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, including two years in Maluku province of Eastern Indonesia.

Most recently he has been working for the Refugee Nutrition Information System (RNIS) () attached to the World Health Organisation (WHO). He is currently working for Oxfam as a Humanitarian Support Personnel (food and nutrition).

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