World Food Programme (WFP)
- 06 Nov 2020
- 8 min read
The World Food Programme (WFP) is the leading humanitarian organization saving lives and changing lives, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience.
- It was founded in 1961 by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) with its headquarters in Rome, Italy.
- It is also a member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG), a coalition of UN agencies and organizations aimed at fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- The international community has committed to end hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition by 2030.
- The WFP assists 88 countries, and has assisted 97 million people (in 2019) which is the largest number since 2012.
- WFP focuses on emergency assistance as well as rehabilitation and development aid.
- Two-thirds of its work is in conflict-affected countries, where people are three times more likely to be undernourished than elsewhere.
- It works closely with the other two Rome-based UN agencies:
- The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which helps countries draw up policy and change legislation to support sustainable agriculture
- The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), which finances projects in poor rural areas.
- To end hunger by protecting access to food.
- Improving nutrition and achieving food security.
- Supporting the SDG implementation and partnering for its results.
WFP’s Strategic Plan for 2017-2021
- It was adopted just over a year after the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It aligns the organization’s work to the 2030 Agenda’s global call to action, which prioritizes efforts to end poverty, hunger and inequality, encompassing humanitarian as well as development efforts.
- The Strategic Plan is guided by the SDGs set forth in the 2030 Agenda, in particular SDG 2 on ending hunger and SDG 17 on revitalizing global partnerships for implementation of the SDGs.
- It ushers in a new planning and operational structure, including the implementation of results-based country portfolios that will maximize WFP’s contribution to governments’ efforts towards achieving the SDGs.
- Responding to emergencies and saving lives and livelihoods – either through direct assistance, or by strengthening country capacities – remains at the heart of WFP’s operations, especially as humanitarian needs become increasingly complex and protracted.
- WFP will support countries in ensuring no one is left behind by continuing to build resilience for food security and nutrition and addressing the growing challenges posed by climate change and rising inequality.
- The WFP has no independent source of funds, it is funded entirely by voluntary donations. Its principal donors are governments, but the organization also receives donations from the private sector and individuals.
- Governments: governments are the principal source of funding for WFP; the organization receives no dues or portions of the UN assessed contributions. On average, over 60 governments underwrite the humanitarian and development projects of WFP
- Corporates: Through corporate-giving programmes, individual companies make vital contributions to fighting hunger.
- Donations from private and not-for-profit entities have included frontline support to several emergency operations; expertise to enhance WFP's logistics and fundraising capacities; and critical cash for school feeding.
- Individuals: Individual contributions can make a difference in the lives of the hungry. A personal donation can provide:
- Emergency food rations during a crisis
- Special food for hungry children in schools.
- Food incentives to encourage poor families to send their girls to school.
- Food as payment for people to rebuild schools, roads and other infrastructure in the wake of conflicts and natural disasters.
Share the Meal
- ShareTheMeal is an initiative of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).
- Donations from the ShareTheMeal app support various WFP operations ranging from resilience building and school feeding programmes to providing food assistance in emergencies.
- The app was launched in 2015 and since then, it has helped provide aid to some of the largest food crises in the world including Yemen, Syria and Nigeria.
WFP and India
WFP has been working in India since 1963, with work transitioning from food distribution to technical assistance since the country achieved self-sufficiency in cereal production. The areas in which WFP mainly assists in India are:
- Transforming the targeted public distribution system: WFP is working to improve the efficiency, accountability and transparency of India’s own subsidized food distribution system, which brings supplies of wheat, rice, sugar and kerosene oil to around 800 million poor people across the country.
- Fortification of government distributed food: To boost the nutritional value of the Government’s Midday Meal school feeding programme, WFP is pioneering the multi-micronutrient fortification of school meals.
- The pilot project saw rice fortified with iron, which was distributed in a single district, resulting in a 20 percent drop in anaemia.
- It has also helped tackle malnutrition by fortifying food given to babies and young children in Kerala State.
- Mapping and monitoring of food insecurity: WFP has used Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping softwares to identify India’s most food insecure areas, which allows policy and relief work to be targeted appropriately.
- WFP is also supporting the government’s Poverty and Human Development Monitoring Agency in establishing a State-level Food Security Analysis Unit, working towards the goal of achieving Zero Hunger.
Report Released by WFP
- Global Report on Food Crisis- The Global Report on Food Crises describes the scale of acute hunger in the world. It provides an analysis of the drivers that are contributing to food crises across the globe.
- The report is produced by the Global Network against Food Crises, an international alliance working to address the root causes of extreme hunger.
- The WFP has been awarded with the Nobel Prize for Peace 2020 for its efforts to combat hunger, bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and preventing the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.