World Food Programme: Wikis


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WFP logo.
United Nations C-130 Hercules transports deliver food to the Rumbak region of Sudan
World Food Programme unloads humanitarian aid at the Freeport of Monrovia during Joint Task Force Liberia

The World Food Programme (WFP) is the food aid branch of the United Nations, and the world's largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger worldwide.[1]. WFP provides food, on average, to 90 million people per year, 58 million of whom are children.[2] From its headquarters in Rome and more than 80 country offices around the world, WFP works to help people who are unable to produce or obtain enough food for themselves and their families.



The WFP was first established at the 1960 Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Conference, when George McGovern, director of the US Food for Peace Programmes, proposed establishing a multilateral food aid programme.[3] WFP was formally established in 1963 by the FAO and the United Nations General Assembly on a three-year experimental basis. In 1965, the programme was extended to a continuing basis.



The WFP is governed by an Executive Board which consists of representatives from 36 member states. Josette Sheeran is the current Executive Director, appointed jointly by the UN Secretary General and the Director-General of the FAO for a five-year term. She heads the Secretariat of WFP.[4]

WFP has a staff of 9,139 people (2007) with 90% operating in the field.[5]

Goals and strategies

WFP strives to eradicate hunger and malnutrition, with the ultimate goal in mind of eliminating the need for food aid itself.

The core strategies behind WFP activities, according to its mission statement, are to provide food aid to:

  1. save lives in refugee and other emergency situations;
  2. improve the nutrition and quality of life of the most vulnerable people at critical times in their lives; and
  3. help build assets and promote the self-reliance of poor people and communities, particularly through labour-intensive works programmes.

WFP food aid is also directed to fight micronutrient deficiencies, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, and combat disease, including HIV and AIDS. Food-for-work programmes help promote environmental and economic stability and agricultural production.


In 2006, WFP distributed 4 million metric tons of food to 87.8 million people in 78 countries; 63.4 million beneficiares were aided in emergency operations, including victims of conflict, natural disasters and economic failure in countries like Somalia, Lebanon, and Sudan. Direct expenditures reached US$2.9 billion, with the most money being spent on Emergency Operations and Immediate Response Account. WFP’s largest country operation in 2006 was Sudan, where the Programme reached 6.4 million people. The second and third largest WFP operations were, respectively, Ethiopia and Kenya. In 2007, WFP's Sudan operation will require some US$ 685 million to provide food assistance to 5.5 million people (2.8 million in Darfur alone).

Not all food aid is international. Sometimes the World Food Program with the help of numerous NGOs organizes food distribution within a country. In Sudan, for instance, the WFP buys about 100,000 metric tons of food - mostly sorghum - from the country's own production in the eastern and central part of the country. That amount constituted one-sixth of the annual requirement of 632,000 metric tons for 2008.[6]

WFP focuses much of its aid on women and children, with the goal of ending child hunger. In fact, part of the response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake consisted of distributing food aid to women only and completely excluding men, many of whom are facing famine conditions. In 2005, food assistance was provided to 58.2 million children, 30 percent of whom were under five. In 2006, WFP assisted 58.8 million hungry children. School-feeding and/or take home ration programmes in 71 countries help students focus on their studies and encourage parents to send their children, especially girls, to school.


During the 2007 Burmese anti-government protests the United Nations reported that food shipments out of Mandalay Division to half a million people in the northern districts were being disrupted.[7] This problem added the shortage of funding over its three year operation and the poverty caused by the government's eradication of opium farming. Military cooperation with the food shipments was quickly resumed.[8]

See also: "where we work" by WFP


WFP operations are funded by donations from world governments, corporations and private donors. In 2006 the Programme received $2.9 billion in contributions. All donations are completely voluntary. The organization’s administrative costs are only seven percent—one of the lowest and best among aid agencies. On 6 November 2006 Josette Sheeran was appointed to replace James T. Morris as Executive Director of WFP by the Secretary-General of the UN and Director-General of FAO in April 2007. Previously, Sheeran served as the Under Secretary for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs United States Department of State and as the managing editor of the Washington Times.

In July 2009, the agency reported that it was forced to cut services due to insufficient funding[9]. These include regions of Uganda, Chad, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and Guinea. The BBC reports that this shortfall is due to the current economic crisis which has increased the number of people in need and reduced the amount richer nations are willing to donate. The agency says it needs $6.7 billion in the current financial year. However, UN members have promised only $3.7 billion, and have actually provided only $1.8 billion, barely a quarter of the total the WFP asked for.

Official partners

Italian €2 commemorative coin of 2004 celebrating the WFP

WFP coordinates and cooperates with a number of official partners in emergencies and development projects. These partners include national government agencies such as DFID, ECHO, EUROPEAID, USAID; UN agencies such as the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); non-governmental organizations such as Save the Children, Catholic Relief Services and Norwegian Refugee Council; as well as corporate partners such as TNT N.V., YUM! Brands, DSM N.V., and Cargill.[10] you can also donate grains of rice by entering at for each question you get correct you donate 10 grains of rice

World Hunger Relief Week

In 2007, the World Food Programme joined forces with YUM! Brands, the world’s largest restaurant company, to launch the first annual World Hunger Relief Week, a global campaign to increase awareness about hunger, engage volunteers, and raise critically needed funds to help WFP serve the world’s areas of greatest need. World Hunger Relief Week 2007 leveraged the power of nearly 35,000 restaurants around the world, sparking a global movement to end hunger and generating an overwhelming outpouring of support from millions of customers, employees, franchisees and their families. Nearly one million Yum!, KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Long John Silver’s and A&W All American Food employees, franchisees and their families volunteered close to 4 million hours to aid hunger relief efforts in communities worldwide, while helping to raise $16 million throughout the World Hunger Relief Week initiative for the World Food Programme and other hunger relief agencies around the world.

Grassroots efforts

In 2004, the WFP tasked Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, U.S., with heading the first student-led War on Hunger effort. Auburn founded the Committee of 19, which has not only led campus and community hunger awareness events but also developed a War on Hunger model for use on campuses across the country.

WFP has launched a global advocacy and fundraising event called Walk the World. On one single day each year, hundreds of thousands of people in every time zone all over the world walk to call for the end of child hunger. In 2005, more than 200,000 people walked in 296 locations. In 2006, there were 760,000 participants in 118 countries all over the world. This event is part of the campaign to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, specifically to halve the number of people who suffer from hunger and poverty by 2015.

A growing number of grassroots global events and celebrations such as International Day of Peace, World Party Day participants, and Peace One Day recommend WFP on radio broadcasts as an immediate reach out action, putting help within reach of anyone with the information that a quarter feeds a child for a day. Fill the Cup campaign takes just 25 US cents to fill one of the "red cups" that the World Food Programme uses to give hungry children a regular school meal of porridge, rice or beans.[11][12][13]. Drew Barrymore and Sean Penn are among notable celebrities who endorse WFP.[14]

In 2006, the Committee of 19 hosted a War on Hunger Summit at which representatives from 29 universities were in attendance. At this summit, the model for a student-led War on Hunger initiative was presented with strong support.

Friends of the World Food Program

Friends of the World Food Program (Friends of WFP) is a U.S.-based, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that focuses on building support in the United States for the World Food Program and other hunger relief operations.

Friends of WFP unites organizations and individuals committed to solving world hunger. Our education, advocacy and fundraising efforts in the United States support WFP’s life-saving global food assistance and development programs. [15]


According to a leaked March 2010 UN report, up to half of the food aid going to Somalia has been diverted to corrupt contractors and militants[1].

See also


  1. ^ "About WFP". World Food Programme. Retrieved 2009-03-31. 
  2. ^ "UN Agencies raised human rights awareness through photo exhibit". Daily Star Egypt. 2007-02-03. Retrieved 2007-02-03. 
  3. ^ "History: 1961". World Food Program. Retrieved 2007-02-01. 
  4. ^ "How WFP is run". World Food Programme. Retrieved 2008-10-27. 
  5. ^ "Facts & Figures". World Food Programme. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  6. ^ "Interview with Emilia Casella, Head of Public Information, World Food Programme, Khartoum, Sudan". May 2008. http:// 
  7. ^ "Unrest in Myanmar could block food aid for 500,000 people, UN food agency warns". United Nations. 28 September 2007. 
  8. ^ "Myanmar: UN to resume delivering food in Mandalay District". United Nations. 30 September 2007. 
  9. ^ "BBC News, 'Dire shortage' at UN food agency". BBC. Retrieved 2009-09-05. 
  10. ^ "WFP's Partners". World Food Programme. Retrieved 2008-10-27. 
  11. ^ Fill the Cup
  12. ^ How To Help
  13. ^ Grassroots International
  14. ^ Drew Barrymore on CNN about WFP, YouTube video
  15. ^ "About Us". Friends of the World Food Program.{wikipedia}. Retrieved 2009-07-29. 
  • Pisik, B. "Sheeran, former Washington Time editor, will lead U.N. food program." Washington Times National Weekly Edition. November 13, 2006: 24.
  • WFP Annual Report 2006.

External links


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