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Ethiopian Airlines Crash, 10 March 2019

Maria Pilar Buzzetti, Accommodation Manager, WFP

Maria Pilar Buzzetti

Maria Pilar joined the World Food Programme in 2015, rising through the ranks to become an accommodation manager. She recently launched the UN’s online accommodation booking service – no mean feat given the inhospitable locations where WFP operates. Her communication skills and popularity allowed her to achieve this – she worked with a network of 500 colleagues from five UN agencies.

Pilar was involved with the upgrading of facilities in 16 countries including Sudan, Chad and Ethiopia as well as the planning of a new UN facility in Benghazi, Libya. 

Pilar was born in Rome and raised in a close-knit family; she was especially close to her 89-year-old grandmother. 

With a degree in political science from Roma Tre University and two master’s degrees in international relations from Rome’s Luiss University and from SIOI (the Italian Society for International Organisations), Pilar was set for a diplomatic career.  She also spoke four languages and wrote  for academic journals; her passion was for Middle Eastern and Mediterranean affairs. 

Keen on sports and healthy living, Pilar had organised the fifth edition of Globe Soccer, an annual international conference on the football transfer market, in Dubai. A keep-fit enthusiast, Pilar threw herself into refurbishing a gym for colleagues at WFP’s compound in Paoua, a remote town in the C.A.R. where security concerns mean staff cannot exercise outside. That gym has been named after her. 

Biographical information and photo provided by WFP.