|Formation||19 December 1961|
|Type||Intergovernmental organization, Regulatory body, Advisory board|
|United Nations General Assembly|
|Award(s)||Nobel Peace Prize (2020)|
The World Food Programme countries. As of 2019, it served 97 million people in 88 countries, the largest since 2012, with two-thirds of its activities conducted in conflict zones.(WFP) is the food-assistance branch of the United Nations. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization, the largest one focused on hunger and food security, and the largest provider of school meals. Founded in 1961, it is headquartered in Rome and has offices in 80
In addition to emergency food relief, WFP offers technical assistance and development aid, such as building capacity for emergency preparedness and response, managing supply chains and logistics, promoting social safety programs, and strengthening resilience against climate change.The agency is also a major provider of direct cash assistance and medical supplies, and provides passenger services for humanitarian workers.
WFP is an executive member of the United Nations Development Group,a consortium of UN entities that aims to fulfil the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), with a priority on achieving SDG 2 for "zero hunger" by 2030.
The World Food Programme was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2020 for its efforts to provide food assistance in areas of conflict, and to prevent the use of food as a weapon of war and conflict.
WFP was established in 1961after the 1960 Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Conference, when George McGovern, director of the US Food for Peace Programmes, proposed establishing a multilateral food aid programme. WFP launched its first programmes in 1963 by the FAO and the United Nations General Assembly on a three-year experimental basis, supporting the Nubian population at Wadi Halfa in Sudan. In 1965, the programme was extended to a continuing basis.
WFP works across a broad spectrum of Sustainable Development Goals,owing to the fact that food shortages, hunger and malnutrition cause poor health, which subsequently impacts other areas of sustainable development, such as education, employment and poverty (Sustainable Development Goals Four, Eight and One respectively).
The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and lockdown has placed significant pressure on agricultural production, disrupted global value and supply chain. Subsequently, this raises issues of malnutrition and inadequate food supply to households with the poorest of them all gravely affected.This is expected to cause "132 million more people to suffer from undernourishment in 2020".
WFP operations are funded by voluntary donations principally from governments of the world, and also from corporations and private donors. billion, of which the largest donors were the United States ($3.4 billion) and Germany ($886.6 million). Contributions were insufficient to cover identified needs of food-insecure populations, with a funding gap of US$4.1 billion.In 2019, funding was a record US$8
WFP is governed by an executive board which consists of representatives from 36 member states, and provides intergovernmental support, direction and supervision of WFP's activities. The European Union is a permanent observer in WFP and, as a major donor, participates in the work of its executive board.WFP is headed by an executive director, who is appointed jointly by the UN Secretary-General and the director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The executive director is appointed for fixed five-year terms and is responsible for the administration of the organization as well as the implementation of its programmes, projects and other activities. David Beasley, previously Governor of the U.S. state of South Carolina, was appointed to the role in March 2017. He heads the WFP secretariat, which is headquartered in Rome.
In October 2020, WFP had 19,660 staff.
Since 1992, all executive directors have been American. The following is a chronological list of those who have served as executive director of the World Food Programme:
About two-thirds of WFP's life-saving food assistance goes to people facing severe food crises, most of them caused by conflict.By the end of 2020 WFP was tackling emergencies and crises across 20 countries. Its response typically includes a combination of food, cash, nutrition supplements and school feeding. WFP estimates that nearly 272 million people in countries where it operates are acutely food insecure, or at risk of becoming so, due to the aggravating effects of COVID-19. WFP extended its reach to assist nearly 97 million people across 73 countries with critical food and nutrition assistance. A total US$1.7 billion in cash assistance was distributed to vulnerable people in 67 countries from January to October 2020. WFP also expanded its monitoring from 15 to 39 countries, to track real-time, evolving needs.
WFP's largest and most complex emergency response is in Yemen, amidst ongoing conflict, a ravaged economy and a decimated health system unable to cope with COVID-19, factors that are combining to cause one of the worst hunger crises in the world and which threaten famine.In Syria, WFP provides food assistance to more than 4.5 million people amidst a civil war that has displaced over 6.5 million people.
WFP is also a first responder to sudden-onset emergencies. When floods struck Sudan in July 2020, it provided emergency food assistance to nearly 160,000 people.WFP provided food as well as vouchers for people to buy vital supplies, while also planning recovery, reconstruction and resilience-building activities, after Cyclone Idai struck Mozambique and floods washed an estimated 400,000 hectares of crops on early 2019.
WFP's emergency is also pre-emptive, in offsetting the potential impact of disasters. In the Sahel region of Africa, amidst economic challenges, climate change and armed militancy, WFP's activities included working with communities and partners to harvest water for irrigation and restore degraded land, and supporting livelihoods through skills training.It uses early-warning systems to help communities prepare for disasters. In Bangladesh, weather forecasting led to distributions of cash to vulnerable farmers to pay for measures such as reinforcing their homes or stockpiling food ahead of heavy flooding.
WFP coordinates responses to large-scale emergencies on behalf of the wider humanitarian community, as lead agency of the Logistics Cluster and the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster. It also co-leads the Food Security Cluster. The WFP-managed United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) serves over 300 destinations globally. WFP also manages the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD), a global network of hubs that procures, stores and transports emergency supplies for the organization and the wider humanitarian community. WFP logistical support, including its air service and hubs, has enabled staff and supplies from WFP and partner organizations to reach areas where commercial flights have not been available, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Emergency Response procedures
WFP has a system of classifications known as the Emergency Response Procedures designed for situations that require an immediate response. This response is activated under the following criteria:
The Emergency Response Classifications are divided as follows, with emergency intensity increasing with each level:
WFP works with governments and humanitarian partners in responding to increasing number of climate-related disasters. It also takes pre-emptive action to reduce the number of people needing humanitarian assistance. WFP used Forecast-based Financing to provide cash to vulnerable families, allowing them to buy food, reinforce their homes and take other steps to build resilience ahead of torrential rains in Bangladesh in July 2019.WFP's response to Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas in September 2019 was assisted by a regional office in Barbados, which had been set up the previous year to enable better disaster preparedness and response. In advance of Hurricane Dorian, WFP deployed technical experts in food security, logistics and emergency telecommunication, to support a rapid needs assessment. Assessment teams also conducted an initial aerial reconnaissance mission, with the aim of putting teams on the ground as soon as possible.
WFP has broadened its focus in recent years from emergency interventions to addressing all forms of malnutrition including vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and overweight and obesity. WFP addresses malnutrition from the earliest stages through programmes targeting the first 1,000 days from conception to a child's second birthday.It provides access to healthy diets, targeting young children, pregnant and breastfeeding women and people living with HIV and tuberculosis. WFP works with governments, other UN agencies, NGOs and the private sector, supporting nutrition interventions, policies and programmes that include nutritious school meals and food fortification.
School meals encourage parents in vulnerable families to send their children to school, rather than work. They have proved highly beneficial in areas including education and gender equality, health and nutrition, social protection, local economies and agriculture.WFP works with partners to ensure school feeding is part of integrated school health and nutrition programmes, which include services such as malaria control, menstrual hygiene and guidance on sanitation and hygiene.
Smallholder farmers produce most of the world's food and are critical in achieving a zero-hunger world. WFP's support to farmers spans a range of activities to help build sustainable food systems, from business-skills training to opening up roads to markets.WFP is among a global consortium that forms the Farm to Market Alliance, which helps smallholder farmers receive information, investment and support, so they can produce and sell marketable surplus and increase their income. WFP connects smallholder farmers to markets in more than 40 countries. It procured 96,600 mt from smallholder farmers for a total of US$37.2 million in 2019, helping improve the smallholders' livelihoods.
In 2008, WFP coordinated the five-year Purchase for Progress (P4P) pilot project. P4P assists smallholding farmers by offering them opportunities to access agricultural markets and to become competitive players in the marketplace. The project spanned across 20 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and trained 800,000 farmers in improved agricultural production, post-harvest handling, quality assurance, group marketing, agricultural finance, and contracting with WFP. The project resulted in 366,000 metric tons of food produced and generated more than US$148 million in income for its smallholder farmers.
WFP's Food Assistance for Assets (FFA) programme is one of WFP's key initiatives aimed at i) addressing the most vulnerable people's immediate food needs with cash, voucher or food transfers when they need them and ii) improving people and communities' long-term food security and resilience.
Through FFA people receive cash or food-based transfers to address their immediate food needs, while they build or boost assets, such as repairing irrigation systems, bridges, land and water management activities, that will improve their livelihoods by creating healthier natural environments, reducing risks and impact of climate shocks, increasing food productivity, and strengthening resilience to natural disasters over time.
FFA reflects WFP's drive towards food assistance and development rather than food aid and dependency. It does this by placing a focus on the assets and their impact on people and communities rather than on the work to realize them, representing a shift away from the previous approaches such as Food or Cash for Work programmes and large public works programmes.
WFP is the largest cash provider in the humanitarian community. The aim is to provide better value for people and donors, allowing for increased food choices and diet diversity for beneficiaries, while boosting local smallholder production, retail and the financial sector. WFP and the European Union joined forces with the Government of Turkey and the Turkish Red Crescent to launch the Emergency Social Safety Net in 2016, one of the largest humanitarian cash programmes ever mounted by the United Nations and the largest humanitarian project the EU has ever funded. It provides monthly cash to vulnerable refugees using individual debit cards. A 2019 survey revealed that the project helped prevent 1.7 million refugees from falling deeper into poverty. WFP stepped back in April 2020, with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies taking over its role.
WFP places a strong emphasis on transferring skills and knowledge to a range of public, private and civil society actors who are pivotal to sustaining national policies and programmes. The goal is to build governments' and other partners' capacities to manage disaster risk and improve food security, while also investing in early warning and preparedness systems for climate and other threats. In the most climate disaster-prone provinces of the Philippines for example, WFP is providing emergency response training and equipment to local government units, and helping set up Automated Weather Stations.
WFP's digital transformation centres on deploying the latest technologies and data to help achieve zero hunger. WFP's Munich-based Innovation Accelerator has sourced and supported more than 60 projects spanning 45 countries.In 2017, WFP launched the Building Blocks programme. It aims to distribute money-for-food assistance to Syrian refugees in Jordan. The project uses blockchain technology to digitize identities and allow refugees to receive food with eye scanning. WFP's low-tech hydroponics kits allow refugees to grow barley that feed livestock in the Sahara desert.
WFP works with thousands of partners, including governments, private sector, UN agencies, international finance groups, academia, NGOs and other civil society groups. The more than 1,000 NGOs it collaborates with around the world forms its biggest group of partners.WFP places strong emphasis on its partnership with the other two Rome-Based agencies – the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the International Fund for Agricultural Development. The agencies reaffirmed their joint efforts to end global hunger, particularly amid the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, during a joint meeting of their governing bodies in October 2020. In the United States, Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(3) organization World Food Program USA supports the WFP. The American organisation frequently donates to the WFP, though the two are separate entities for taxation purposes.
WFP won the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for its "efforts for combating hunger", its "contribution to creating peace in conflicted-affected areas," and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of food as a weapon of war and conflict.Receiving the award, Executive David Beasley called for billionaires to "step up" and help source the US$5 billion WFP needs to save 30 million people from famine.
In 2018 the Center for Global Development ranked WFP last in a study of 40 aid programmes, based on indicators grouped into four themes: maximising efficiency, fostering institutions, reducing burdens, and transparency and learning. These indicators relate to aid effectiveness principles developed at the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (2005), the Accra Agenda for Action (2008), and the Busan Partnership Agreement (2011).
There is wide general debate on the net effectiveness of aid, including unintended consequences such as increasing the duration of conflicts, and increasing corruption. WFP faces difficult decisions on working with some regimes.
Some surveys have shown internal culture problems at WFP, including harassment.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger and improve nutrition and food security. Its Latin motto, fiat panis, translates to "let there be bread". It was founded in October 1945.
Famine relief is an organized effort to reduce starvation in a region in which there is famine. A famine is a phenomenon in which a large proportion of the population of a region or country are so undernourished that death by starvation becomes increasingly common. In spite of the much greater technological and economic resources of the modern world, famine still strikes many parts of the world, mostly in the developing nations.
David Muldrow Beasley is an American politician and the Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme. A member of the Republican Party, Beasley also served one term as the 113th governor of South Carolina from 1995 until 1999.
The Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, formerly known as the European Community Humanitarian Aid Office, is the European Commission's department for overseas humanitarian aid and for civil protection. It aims to save and preserve life, prevent and alleviate human suffering and safeguard the integrity and dignity of populations affected by natural disasters and man-made crises. Since September 2019, Janez Lenarčič is serving as European Commissioner for Crisis Management in the Von der Leyen Commission.
The United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) is an international network of six humanitarian support hubs located strategically around the world, that provide supply chain solutions to the international humanitarian community. The hubs are located in Brindisi (Italy), Dubai (UAE), Accra (Ghana), Panama City (Panama), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and Las Palmas (Spain).
The North Korean famine, also known as the Arduous March or the March of Suffering, was a period of mass starvation together with a general economic crisis from 1994 to 1998 in North Korea. During this time there was an increase in defection from North Korea which peaked towards the end of the famine period.
Josette Sheeran is an American non-profit executive and diplomat who served in the United States Department of State. Sheeran serves as the seventh President and CEO of Asia Society since June 10, 2013. Sheeran was also the United Nations Special Envoy for Haiti.
The diplomatic relationship between the United States of America and Zambia can be characterized as warm and cooperative. Relations are based on their shared experiences as British colonies, both before, after and during the struggle for independence. Several U.S. administrations cooperated closely with Zambia's first president, Kenneth Kaunda, in hopes of facilitating solutions to the conflicts in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Angola, and Namibia. The United States works closely with the Zambian Government to defeat the HIV/AIDS pandemic that is ravaging Zambia, to promote economic growth and development, and to effect political reform needed to promote responsive and responsible government. The United States is also supporting the government's efforts to root out corruption. Zambia is a beneficiary of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The U.S. Government provides a variety of technical assistance and other support that is managed by the Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) Threshold Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Treasury, Department of Defense, and Peace Corps. The majority of U.S. assistance is provided through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), in support of the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Purchase for Progress (P4P) is an initiative of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), involving over 500 partnerships, including Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, FAO, ACDI/VOCA, TechnoServe and others. Launched in September 2008 as a five-year pilot, P4P sought to explore programming and procurement modalities with the greatest potential to stimulate agricultural and market development in ways that maximized benefits to smallholder farmers. The program, largely developed by the eleventh Executive Director of the WFP, Josette Sheeran, arose as the WFP desired to purchase food in a way that was part of the "solution to hunger". These efforts are aligned with recommendations issued by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights that call for an establishment of programs in support of socially vulnerable groups. and to the Zero Hunger Challenge launched by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Special UN Reporter 2012-2014, Olivier De Schutter, claimed that public procurement systems favour economically-strong bidders, thus excluding smallholder farmers. His conclusion was that public procurement schemes supportive of smallholders could have "powerful impacts on the reduction of rural poverty." P4P is built upon this very principle as it enables low-income farmers to supply food to the WFP's operations. Eventually the transaction can be regulated by a forward contract, with the farmer agreeing in selling in the future a certain amount of output at a fixed price. Essentially, the P4P program aims to create a wide and sophisticate market for commodities in developing countries.
The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) is an inter-agency forum of UN and non-UN humanitarian partners founded in 1992, to strengthen humanitarian assistance. The overall objective of the IASC is to improve the delivery of humanitarian assistance to affected populations. The Committee was established following UN General Assembly Resolution 46/182 and resolution 48/57 confirmed that it should be the primary method for inter-agency coordination. The committee is chaired by the Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Andrew Lowcock
Food security is defined, according to the World Food Summit of 1996, as existing "when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life". This commonly refers to people having "physical and economic access" to food that meets both their nutritional needs and food preferences. Today, Ethiopia faces high levels of food insecurity, ranking as one of the hungriest countries in the world, with an estimated 5.2 million people needing food assistance in 2010. Ethiopia was ranked 92 in the world in Global Hunger Index 2020.
Once known as Qatar Charitable Society, Qatar Charity is a humanitarian and development non-governmental organization in the Middle East. It was founded in 1992 in response to the thousands of children who were made orphans by the Afghanistan war and while orphans still remain a priority cause in the organization's work with more than 150,000 sponsored orphans, it has now expanded its fields of action to include six humanitarian fields and seven development fields.
James Charles Ingram is a former Australian diplomat, philanthropist and author whose career culminated in his post as the eighth executive director of the World Food Programme (WFP), a position which he occupied for ten years.
Since 2016, a food insecurity crisis has been ongoing in Yemen which started during the Yemeni Civil War. The UN estimates that the war caused an estimated 130,000 deaths from indirect causes which include lack of food, health services, and infrastructure. In 2018, Save the Children estimated that 85,000 children have died due to starvation in the three years prior. In May 2020, UNICEF described Yemen as "the largest humanitarian crisis in the world", and estimated that 80% of the population, over 24 million people, were in need of humanitarian assistance. The crisis is being compounded by an outbreak of cholera, which is resulting in over 3000 deaths between 2015 and mid 2017. While the country is in crisis and multiple regions have been classified as being in IPC Phase 4, an actual classification of famine conditions was averted in 2018 and again in early 2019 due to international relief efforts. In January 2021, two out of 33 regions were classified as IPC 4 while 26 were classified as IPC 3.
In the early months of 2017, parts of South Sudan experienced a famine following several years of instability in the country's food supply caused by war and drought. The famine, largely focused in the northern part of the country, affected an estimated five million people. In May 2017, the famine was officially declared to have weakened to a state of severe food insecurity.
Food insecurity in Niger is a growing concern, with more than 1.5 million people affected in the year 2017.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity has intensified in many places – in the second quarter of 2020 there were multiple warnings of famine later in the year. According to early predictions, hundreds of thousands of people would likely die and millions more experience hunger without concerted efforts to address issues of food security. As of October 2020, these efforts were reducing the risk of widespread starvation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The United Nations response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been led by its Secretary-General and can be divided into formal resolutions at the General Assembly and at the Security Council (UNSC), and operations via its specialized agencies and chiefly the World Health Organization in the initial stages, but involving more humanitarian-oriented agencies as the humanitarian impact became clearer, and then economic organizations, like the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the International Labour Organization, and the World Bank, as the socioeconomic implications worsened.
The famine in the Tigray War is an acute shortage of food leading to death and starvation in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia, which resulted from the Tigray War that started in November 2020. As of May 2021 there are 5.5 million people facing acute food insecurity and over 350,000 people experiencing catastrophic famine conditions. It is the worst famine worldwide since the 2011 famine in Somalia.
In mid-2021, a severe drought in southern Madagascar caused hundreds of thousands of people, with some estimating more than one million people, to suffer from food insecurity and being on the verge of famine. Some organizations have attributed the situation to the impact of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.
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