“A workable scheme for providing Food Aid”
September 1962, in Northern Iran, an earthquake striked the area of Buin Zara. More than 12,000 people die. Thousands of houses were destroyed. Disaster for its victims, the tremor was a fire for the launching World Food Programme: the institution had only existed for a matter of months. Even so, it quickly sent the survivors 1,500 metric tons of wheat, 270 tons of sugar and 27 tons of tea.
A first development programme was launched in 1963 for Nubians in Sudan.
US President Dwight Eisenhower created WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME as an attempt to provide food aid through the UN system.
Today, WFP is the world’s largest charitable agency fighting hunger worldwide. When disasters strike, it is quick off the mark and scales up in a heartbeat; when they do not, it works tirelessly to reinforce nutrition and food security. Its field presence is deep; its operational understanding of food needs unparalleled.
Helping and Assisting 80 million people in around 80 countries each year, the World Food Programme (WFP) is the leading humanitarian organization fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food aid in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build flexibility.
WFP’s efforts focus on
- emergency relief,
- relief and reformation,
- development aidand special operations.
Two-thirds of their work is in conflict-affected countries where people are three times more likely to be undernourished than those living in countries without conflict.
The World Food Programme is the United Nations’ battleground agency in the fight against global hunger. With operations in over 80 countries feeding about 90 million people, WFP is the world’s largest international food aid organization.
WORK OF WPF
COUNTRY CAPACITY STRENTHENING
The World Food Programme (WFP) offers nationally-sewn technical assistance and capacity development to support individual government capacities in all of these fields. It responds to capacitate gaps identified through an assessment process that is led by the partner government.
This process helps identify national demand for capacity strengthening along five critical pathways, as relevant to achieving national food security and nutrition objectives:
- Policies and legislation
- Institutional answerability
- Strategic planning and financing
- National programme design and delivery
- Engagement and participation of non-state actors
Emergencies are described as “urgent situations in which there is clear confirmation that an event, or series of events, has occurred which causes human suffering or immediately threatens lives or livelihoods, and which the government concerned has not the means to remedy; and it is a conclusively uncommon event, or series of events, which produces disturbances in the life of a community on an notable scale.”
For more than 50 years, the World Food Programme (WFP) has provided emergency food assistance, often in conflict, post-conflict or disaster situations.
FOOD ASSISTANCE: CASH AND IN-KIND
Since the late 2000s, the World Food Programme (WFP) has shifted from the concept of food aid to that of food assistance.
Food assistance is a vital part of a policy mix that leads social wellbeing in general. It implies not just emergency interference, but tailored, multi-year support programmes arranged to lift a whole nation’s nutritional indicators. It balances the urgency to mitigate hunger with the broader objective of ending hunger once and for all.
“Cash” for WFP involves physical bank notes, vouchers, or electronic funds being given to beneficiaries to spend directly. This – empowering people to feed themselves – is a hard labor process.
HUMANITARIAN SUPPORT AND SERVICES
The World Food Programme (WFP) has gathered vast expertise and capacity in supply chain, engineering and emergency telecommunications – often in the most challenging environments. This experience allows WFP the ability to extend its capacity to also support emergency preparedness and medium-long term development efforts, depending on the local context.
HIGHLIGHTS OF WFP’S WORK FROM OUR 2016
ANNUAL PERFORMANCE REPORT.
INNOVATIVE WAYS OF GETTING FOOD TO THOSE IN NEED
WFP analyzed new ways of bringing much-needed food to people trapped by struggle and closed borders. In Syria, we used high-altitude airdrops for the first time ever to deliver food and relief items to the unreachable city of Deir Ezzor, dropping live-saving cargo from 5,000 metres.
After the border with Jordan was closed in July in Rukban and Hadalat, they used two 70-metre cranes to lift food and hygiene kits to helpless refugees.
STEPPING UP THE USE OF CASH
Providing cash is a powerful and flexible tool to fight hunger: It gives people more choice and access to a more varied diet, while challenging local economies.
In Turkey, WFP and the Turkish Red Crescent launched the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN), a project that gives electronic cash cards to vulnerable refugees. Receiving a monthly amount directly onto the card allows families to buy food, medicine or warm clothing, as well as to pay rent or school fees according to their needs.
NOT JUST FEEDING, ALSO NOURISHING
Their food basket has seen a 33 percent increase in specialized nutritious foods such as ready-to-eat products containing essential micronutrients.
In order to prevent or treat malnutrition, we provided special nutrition assistance to 9 million children under 5, and to 4 million pregnant and nursing women.
RECORD CONTRIBUTIONS, GROWING NEEDS
In 2016, WFP received a record level of funding — US$ 5.8 billion. With unprecedented need, this allowed them to meet 67 percent of their overall funding requirements.
Malawi provided US$ 112 million to WFP’s programmes in 2016, the largest contribution by a host government. The government’s commitment to tackle food insecurity in the country encouraged more support from existing and new donors, including private sector, and individuals who contributed through the ShareTheMeal app.
MEASURING OUR IMPACT BEYOND FOOD AND CASH
WFP’s programmes reach people beyond those who receive food or cash. In 2016, WFP helped connect farmers’ organizations to markets, trained partners in policy design and implementation, and helped build infrastructure that benefits entire communities, such as bridges and roads.
In India, for example, WFP helped carry out biometric registration — using physiological characteristics such as iris recognition to identify people — of 31.2 million people who were entitled to receive benefits under the national food distribution system.