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World Food Programme

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

World Food Programme
Emblem of the United Nations.svg
World Food Programme.jpg
World Food Programme Logo Simple.svg
The World Food Programme logo and the headquarters in Rome
Formation19 December 1961; 58 years ago (1961-12-19)
TypeIntergovernmental organization, Regulatory body, Advisory board
Legal statusActive
HeadquartersRome, Italy
David Beasley
Parent organization
United Nations General Assembly
Staff (2018)
Award(s)Nobel Peace Prize 2020
A coloured voting box.svg
 Politics portal

The World Food Programme[a] (WFP) is the food-assistance branch of the United Nations. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization,[1] the largest one focused on hunger and food security,[2] and the largest provider of school meals. Founded in 1961, it is headquartered in Rome and has offices in 80 countries.[3] As of 2019, it served 97 million people in 88 countries, the largest since 2012,[4] with two-thirds of its activities conducted in conflict zones.[5]

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.[6] The agency is also a major provider of direct cash assistance and medical supplies, and provides passenger services for humanitarian workers.[1][7]

WFP is an executive member of the United Nations Development Group,[8] 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.[9]

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 hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.[10]


WFP was established in 1961[11] after 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.[12]


WFP works across a broad spectrum of Sustainable Development Goals,[9] 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).[9]

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.[13] This is causing "132 million more people to suffer from undernourishment in 2020".[14]


WFP operations are funded by voluntary donations principally from governments of the world, and also from corporations and private donors.[15] In 2018, funding was US$7.2 billion, of which the largest donors were the United States government ($2.5 billion) and the European Union ($1.1 billion). Donor contributions were largely channelled into the highest-level, conflict-driven hunger crises, leaving less to address lower-profile emergencies, or for strategic work.[16]


Leadership and staff

David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Programme
David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Programme

WFP is governed by an executive board which consists of representatives from 36 member states. David Beasley, previously Governor of the U.S. state of South Carolina, was appointed executive director in March 2017, having been appointed jointly by the UN Secretary-General and the Director-General of the FAO for a five-year term. He heads the WFP secretariat, which is headquartered in Rome. The European Union is a permanent observer in WFP and, as a major donor, participates in the work of its executive board.[17]

In 2018, WFP had 17,000 staff.[18]

List of executive directors

The following is a chronological list of those who have served as Executive Director of the World Food Programme:[19]

  1. Addeke Hendrik Boerma ( Netherlands) (May 1962 – December 1967)
  2. Sushil K. Dev ( India) (January 1968 – August 1968) (acting)
  3. Franciso Aquino ( El Salvador) (July 1968 – May 1976)
  4. Thomas C. M. Robinson ( United States) (May 1976 – June 1977 acting; July 1977 – September 1977)
  5. Garson N. Vogel ( Canada) (October 1977 – April 1981)
  6. Bernardo de Azevedo Brito ( Brazil) (May 1981 – February 1982) (acting)
  7. Juan Felipe Yriart ( Uruguay) (February 1982 – April 1982) (acting)
  8. James Ingram ( Australia) (April 1982 – April 1992)
  9. Catherine Bertini ( United States) (April 1992 – April 2002)
  10. James T. Morris ( United States) (April 2002 – April 2007)
  11. Josette Sheeran ( United States) (April 2007 – April 2012)
  12. Ertharin Cousin ( United States) (April 2012 – April 2017)
  13. David Beasley ( United States) (April 2017 – present)

Logistics Cluster

The Logistics Cluster is an Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) humanitarian coordination mechanism whose primary role is supporting emergency responses.[20] One of eleven sectoral coordination bodies, it was established by UN General Assembly resolution 46/182 in December 1991 and extended in the Humanitarian Reform of 2005, with new elements adopted to improve capacity, predictability, accountability, leadership and partnership.[citation needed]

The Logistics Cluster provides coordination and information management services to support operational decision-making and improve the predictability, timeliness and efficiency of humanitarian emergency responses. Where necessary, the Logistics Cluster also facilitates access to common logistics services. Due to its expertise in the field of humanitarian logistics, the World Food Programme (WFP) was chosen by the IASC as the lead agency for the Logistics Cluster. WFP hosts the Global Logistics Cluster support team in its headquarters in Rome. WFP also acts as a "provider of last resort" offering common logistics services, when critical gaps hamper the humanitarian response.[21]


United Nations C-130 Hercules transports deliver food for the Rumbek region of southern Sudan (2004).
United Nations C-130 Hercules transports deliver food for the Rumbek region of southern Sudan (2004).


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.[22]

In 2010, WFP responded to the 2010 Haiti earthquake by distributing food aid only to women, as experience built up over almost five decades of working in emergency situations has demonstrated that giving food only to women helps to ensure that it is spread evenly among all household members. 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.[23]

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.[24]

In 2020, WFP was feeding more than 12 million Yemenis a month, 80% of whom were in areas controlled by Houthi forces.[25]

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:

  1. When human suffering exists and domestic governments cannot respond adequately
  2. The United Nations reputation is under scrutiny
  3. When there is an obvious need for aid from WFP

The Emergency Response Classifications are divided as follows, with emergency intensity increasing with each level:[26]

  • Level 1 – Response is activated. Resources are allocated to prepare for WFP's local office to respond
  • Level 2 – A country's resources require regional assistance with an emergency across one or multiple countries/territories
  • Level 3 (L3) – The emergency overpowers WFP's local offices and requires a global response from the entire WFP organisation

Partnerships and initiatives

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 Organization (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 Boston Consulting Group, DSM, and Cargill.[27]

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.[28]


Recognition and awards

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 hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.[29][30]


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).[31]

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.[32]

Some surveys have shown internal culture problems at WFP, including harassment.[33][34]

See also


  1. ^ French: Programme alimentaire mondial; Italian: Programma alimentare mondiale; Spanish: Programa Mundial de Alimentos; Arabic: برنامج الأغذية العالمي‎, romanizedbarnamaj al'aghdhiat alealami; Russian: Всемирная продовольственная программа, romanizedVsemirnaya prodovol'stvennaya programma; Chinese: 世界粮食计划署; pinyin: Shìjiè Liángshí Jìhuà Shǔ


  1. ^ a b "WFP: $6.8bn needed in six months to avert famine amid COVID-19". Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  2. ^ WFP. "Mission Statement". WFP. Archived from the original on 17 December 2016. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
  3. ^ Overview Archived 16 November 2018 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 19 November 2018
  4. ^ "Overview". Archived from the original on 3 October 2020. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  5. ^ Picheta, Rob. "World Food Programme was created as an experiment. It sent food to 97 million last year". CNN. Archived from the original on 9 October 2020. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  6. ^ "Country Capacity Strengthening | World Food Programme". Archived from the original on 9 October 2020. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  7. ^ Afp (9 October 2020). "World Food Programme | Five things to know about 2020 Nobel Peace Prize winner". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  8. ^ The organization has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2020 for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict Executive Committee Archived 11 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 15 January 2012
  9. ^ a b c "Zero Hunger". World Food Program. Archived from the original on 9 October 2020. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  10. ^ Specia, Megan; Stevis-Gridneff, Matina (9 October 2020). "World Food Program Awarded Nobel Peace Prize for Work During Pandemic". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 11 October 2020. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  11. ^ "UN Food Programme – History". World Food Program. Archived from the original on 9 October 2020. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  12. ^ Elga Zalite. "World Food Programme – An Overview" (PDF). Stanford University Library. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2 October 2020. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  13. ^ Gulseven, Osman; Al Harmoodi, Fatima; Al Falasi, Majid; ALshomali, Ibrahim (2020). "How the COVID-19 Pandemic Will Affect the UN Sustainable Development Goals?". SSRN Electronic Journal. doi:10.2139/ssrn.3592933. ISSN 1556-5068. Archived from the original on 9 October 2020. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  14. ^ "UN/DESA Policy Brief #81: Impact of COVID-19 on SDG progress: a statistical perspective | Department of Economic and Social Affairs". 27 August 2020. Archived from the original on 9 October 2020. Retrieved 24 September 2020.
  15. ^ "Funding and donors". Archived from the original on 9 October 2020. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  16. ^ "WFP – Year in review 2018". Archived from the original on 9 October 2020. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  17. ^ "European Union". Archived from the original on 10 June 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  18. ^ "WFP – Year in review 2018". Archived from the original on 11 June 2019. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  19. ^ "Previous WFP Executive Directors". World Food Programme. Archived from the original on 12 August 2019. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  20. ^ "Logistics Cluster". Logistics Cluster. Archived from the original on 16 September 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  21. ^ "Logistics Cluster". Archived from the original on 11 September 2017. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  22. ^ Purchase for Progress: Reflections on the pilot, February 2015 Archived 11 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  23. ^ "Contributions to WFP: Comparative Figures and Five-Year Aggregate Ranking". United Nations World Food Programme. 19 April 2020. Archived from the original on 27 April 2020. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  24. ^ Juskalian, Russ. "Inside the Jordan refugee camp that runs on blockchain". MIT Technology Review. Archived from the original on 9 October 2020. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  25. ^ 'Yemen: World Food Programme to cut aid by half in Houthi-controlled areas', BBC, Archived 23 April 2020 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ "WFP Emergency Response Classifications" (PDF). World Food Programme. 8 May 2014. Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 March 2017. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  27. ^ "WFP's Partners". World Food Programme. Archived from the original on 11 June 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  28. ^ Funke, Daniel; Dc 20036. "Fact-checking claims about charities linked to Hunter Biden and the Trump children". PolitiFact. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  29. ^ Peace Prize, Nobel. "The Nobel Peace Prize 2020". The Nobel Prize. Archived from the original on 9 October 2020. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  30. ^ "UN's World Food Programme wins Nobel peace prize". The Guardian. 9 October 2020. Archived from the original on 9 October 2020. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  31. ^ "How Do You Measure Aid Quality and Who Ranks Highest?". Center for Global Development. 15 November 2018. Retrieved 11 October 2020.
  32. ^ 'Yemen: World Food Programme to cut aid by half in Houthi-controlled areas', BBC,
  33. ^ Lynch, Colum. "Popular U.N. Food Agency Roiled by Internal Problems, Survey Finds". Archived from the original on 25 April 2020. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  34. ^ "Senior UN figures under investigation over alleged sexual harassment". The Guardian. 25 January 2018. Archived from the original on 24 March 2020. Retrieved 9 October 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 29 October 2020, at 17:44
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