Sign up today to join our online community, receive email alerts, and make a difference!
Cancel

News Releases

Official statements announcing key developments in WFP operations and activities.
Subscribe

643243
09/18/2014 - 15:02
Responding to Emergencies

WFP will receive approximately US$18.7 million from the World Bank. The contribution specifically provides grants to the governments of Guinea (US$7.1 million), Sierra Leone (US$6 million) and Liberia (US$5.6 million). Separately, the U.N.’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has pledged US$3 million to help WFP address food and nutrition security in rural communities  across all the affected countries.
 
Together, these two contributions significantly strengthen WFP’s ability to work in the Ebola-affected region at a time of worldwide calls for greater humanitarian action.
 
“The World Food Programme welcomes this timely response from the World Bank and IFAD. We cannot adequately meet the health needs of these communities without addressing the rapidly increasing hunger and food security challenges,” says WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin in Rome. “Medical treatment without food and water will not effectively combat the disease.”

“With this critical support, WFP will help meet the pressing food needs of the families and communities affected by the Ebola outbreak,  while working to address the wider impact on the ability of people across these three countries  to access food in the months ahead.”   
 
WFP is scaling up its ongoing response to the Ebola emergency. The organization will provide assistance to about one million people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, including delivering food alongside the health response. To date, across the three countries, more than 147,500 people have received food assistance from WFP.
 
The World Bank grants are part of a larger $105 million Ebola assistance package approved by the World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors in Washington on 16 September. The IFAD pledge was announced during the opening of the organization’s Executive Board meeting in Rome on 17 September.

#                              #                                 #

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food in emergencies and working with communities to build resilience. In 2013, WFP assisted more than 80 million people in 75 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Steve Taravella, WFP/Washington, Tel. +1-202-653-1149, Mob.  +1-202-770-5993
Frances Kennedy, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39-06-6513-3725, Mob. +39-346-760-0806
Alexis Masciarelli, WFP/Dakar, Tel. +221-33-849-6500, Mob. + 221-77-637-59-64

 

ROME/WASHINGTON - The U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) will receive $21.7 million from two international financial institutions. This contribution will help support the increasing need for food assistance amid the worsening Ebola epidemic.

643237
09/18/2014 - 12:40
Responding to Emergencies

“We have reached a critical point in our humanitarian response in Syria and in neighbouring countries and unless we manage to secure significant funding in the next few days, I am afraid we will have no choice but to scale back our operation,” said Muhannad Hadi, WFP’s Regional Emergency Coordinator for the Syrian crisis.

WFP is funded entirely by contributions from governments, the private sector, other organizations and individuals. Hadi acknowledged that other emergencies were competing for donors’ attention and that aid budgets were stretched. But he said that in Syria, needs were still high and that the international community had made progress in recent weeks in gaining access to many people in hard-to-reach areas.

“The world has come together with huge generosity to provide food and other assistance over the last three years, and it is heart-breaking to think that we can no longer build on that investment that has given some stability to the shattered lives of so many people,” he added.

WFP requires US$352 million for its operations as a whole until the end of the year, including US$95 million for its work inside Syria and US$257 million to support refugees in neighbouring countries.

•    In Syria from October, WFP will continue to provide food to more than 4 million people, but the food parcel will be smaller, providing less than 60 percent of the nutritional value recommended in emergencies in October and cutting even more in November. For December, WFP has no funding available for programmes in Syria.  

•    In Turkey, WFP’s monthly electronic voucher programme to provide food assistance to 220,000 Syrian refugees living in camps is only around 12 percent funded, and as many as 170,000 people may go without assistance in October.

•     In Jordan, monthly assistance to around 440,000 refugees living in towns and villages will be reduced from US$34 to US$16, but support to camps will be maintained.
•    In Lebanon from October, the value of the monthly electronic voucher will be reduced from US$30 to US$20 per person. Food parcels for new arrivals and vouchers for Palestinian refugees will be discontinued.

•    In Egypt from October, only the most vulnerable will be assisted, and the caseload will be more than halved from 100,000 to 43,000 people. The value of food vouchers will be cut from US$30 to US$15 per month.

•    In Iraq from October, the voucher value for the 70,000 refugees in Domiz camp will be reduced from US$31 to US$25, while  food assistance for the 33,000 food assistance recipients in other camps will be maintained. School feeding for some 12,000 children has already been halted.

“If the food assistance stops, it would be disastrous!” said one disabled refugee, Ashraf. “I cannot work in Lebanon, like I used to do in Syria, to feed my family. What would I do? Beg to feed my family?”

Alia, from Homs, depends on an electronic “e-card” to buy food in local, Lebanese shops for her family of five. “Without the electronic blue card, I don’t know what we would do,” she said. “I wouldn’t want to think about it. It would be very hard for us, maybe impossible.”

Abou Anas and his family have been receiving WFP food vouchers in the Jordanian capital, Amman, and he, too, is deeply worried. “Imagine someone drowning,” he said. “You throw them a rescue float. They survive, but remain in the water. You suddenly decide to take it away. They die.”

Food security data in Jordan suggests that 85 percent of refugee families would not have the necessary financial resources to meet their food needs without assistance. WFP is concerned that without support, people will be vulnerable to exploitation and will resort to measures such as begging, sending children out to work or marrying girls off early.

#                              #                                 #

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food in emergencies and working with communities to build resilience. In 2013, WFP assisted more than 80 million people in 75 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media and @wfp_mena

For broadcast-quality video, please contact:  jonathan.dumont@wfp.org

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +202 25281730, Mob. +201066634352
Laure Chadraoui, WFP/Cairo, Mob. +2010 20084172
Joelle Eid, WFP/Amman, Mob. +962 79727 9403
Emilia Casella, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 6513 3854, Mob. +39 347 9450634
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 20 72409001, Mob.  +44 7968 008474
Bettina Luescher, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-5566909, Mob.  +1-646-8241112

 

AMMAN – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is warning that it is running out of funds to provide food for almost 6 million Syrians receiving its life-saving assistance. In Syria, the size of next month’s food ration will be reduced and in neighbouring countries the number of refugees receiving food or vouchers will be cut.

643157
09/15/2014 - 14:32
Nutrition

BANGKOK – Adding essential vitamins and minerals to rice is a cost-effective way to address micronutrient deficiencies in many Asian countries and an international conference bringing together nearly 200 experts, including delegations from nine countries across the region, aims to determine concrete action to scale up rice fortification.
 
Between 16 and 19 September, the conference “Scaling Up Rice Fortification in Asia” will host discussions in Bangkok about the latest evidence on the effectiveness of rice fortification, best practices from countries where rice is already being fortified, and the latest developments in technologies and policies. Countries who are attending are all planning or already working to introduce the distribution of fortified rice, including Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.
 
“Fortification of basic foodstuffs isn’t a new concept,” said Kenro Oshidari, Regional Director for Asia of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). “Wheat flour, maize flour and salt are routinely enriched with micronutrients in many countries – often with government regulations enforcing the practice. It’s been demonstrated that it is possible and economically viable to do this on a large scale, with significant public health benefits. Progress in technology means that now this is a possibility for rice fortification as well.”
 
Across the globe, more than two billion people are affected by micronutrient deficiencies, which rob them of the possibility to achieve their full potential in leading a healthy and productive life. Rice is the staple food for three billion people in the world – most of them in Asia. Rice fortification is an ideal platform to help people get the micronutrients they need, without having to change their eating habits. It has the potential to reach a high proportion of the population and is an important addition to other efforts to improve people’s nutrition.
 
Delegates will have the opportunity to identify factors that enable or hinder the scale-up of rice fortification, discuss strategies for overcoming bottlenecks or leveraging success factors, with the aim of identifying practical next steps to expand rice fortification programmes.
 
The conference is co-organized by the Food Fortification Initiative (FFI), the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), the Micronutrient Initiative (MI), PATH, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and WFP.
 
 
Participants include government and private sector representatives, as well as experts in nutrition, public health, food technology and development issues, and donors to development and humanitarian activities. Representatives from the private sector, such as rice traders, millers and equipment suppliers, will also be present, underlining their essential role in scaling up rice fortification.
 
 
*** Note to editors ***
 
Journalists and editors: for photos and requests for interviews with experts during the course of the conference, please contact Silke Buhr (WFP), silke.buhr@wfp.org, +66(0)81-701-9208.

 

BANGKOK – Adding essential vitamins and minerals to rice is a cost-effective way to address micronutrient deficiencies in many Asian countries and an international conference bringing together nearly 200 experts, including delegations from nine countries across the region, aims to determine concrete action to scale up rice fortification.

643134
09/12/2014 - 09:36
Responding to Emergencies

Since the beginning of September, WFP in cooperation with local partners has distributed food boxes containing ready-to-eat canned food such as meat, fish, vegetables as well as biscuits, jam and tea. So far, 10,000 daily rations, enough to feed 2,000 people for five days, has been distributed.

WFP plans to scale up its operations to a total of 90,000 daily rations, which would feed more than 18,000 people for five days, before the end of the month. Those being assisted are mainly internally displaced people with serious medical conditions, pregnant women, nursing mothers, the elderly and large, vulnerable families.

“The fighting in the last few months primarily in the cities of Luhansk and Donetsk and surrounding areas has significantly disrupted access to food and basic services. While many have remained, thousand of other families have fled their homes at short notice, often without anything even for the journey,” said Carlo Scaramella, WFP Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and East Europe.

“We have procured the food for distribution to those most in need locally to try to inject money into the local economy and we plan to launch a food voucher project that will boost local markets in areas where markets are still functioning properly,” he added.

By mid-October, up to 10,000 displaced people will receive WFP’s food vouchers  – worth nearly US$500,000 – allowing them to choose and purchase food available in their own communities.

The assistance marks WFP’s first response to the crisis in Ukraine and follows a request for assistance from the State Emergency Services of the Government of Ukraine. The UN refugee agency UNHCR has officially counted over 310,000 internally displaced people. The total numbers may be at least double that

A fragile ceasefire is now in place in the eastern region. However, the situation remains extremely volatile and unpredictable.  WFP and its partners are preparing to increase their assistance in view of recent fighting in the southern coast around Novoazovsk and Mariupol and  because winter is approaching.

WFP plans to launch an emergency operation in Ukraine that could feed as many as 120,000 people over the next six months at a cost of US$15 million.

#                              #                                 #

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food in emergencies and working with communities to build resilience. In 2013, WFP assisted more than 80 million people in 75 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media

For more information please contact
Francesca Caponera. WFP/Kiev, Tel: +380 44 2531860, Mob. +380 96 4637642
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Tel +2010 66634352
Emilia Casella, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 6513 3854, Mob. +39 347 9450634
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 20 72409001, Mob.  +44 7968 008474
Elisabeth Byrs, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. +41 79 473 4570
Bettina Luescher, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-5566909, Mob.  +1-646-8241112

 

KIEV – In its first operation in Ukraine, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is rolling out food assistance for vulnerable people affected by the conflict, distributing food in transit centres and public shelters in Donetsk and Luhansk in East Ukraine.

643132
09/12/2014 - 08:33
ED - E.Cousin

WAW! Tokyo 2014, jointly hosted by the Government of Japan, KEIDANREN (Japan Business Federation) and other groups, is an international forum for women that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dubs the “women’s Davos forum.” It brings together political, business, and opinion leaders from around the world to discuss common issues relating to women, and how to promote their active roles.

As the head of the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger, Ms. Cousin will participate in a high-level roundtable discussion entitled“Global Issues and Women’s Initiatives” on 13 September. She will provide insight into the critical role of women in achieving a world without hunger.

Cousin’s agenda also includes high-level meetings with government officials to further enhance the strategic partnership with Japan. Her visit comes at a time when WFP is facing unprecedented humanitarian needs, including massive emergency food responses underway in Syria, Iraq, Ebola-affected countries in West Africa, South Sudan and Central African Republic.

This is Cousin’s third visit to Japan since becoming WFP Executive Director in 2012. As one of WFP’s strongest advocates, the Government of Japan has consistently been among WFP’s top donors. In 2013, the Government of Japan contributed over US$238.4 million to WFP programmes, making it the fifth largest donor.

#                              #                              #

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food in emergencies and working with communities to build resilience. In 2013, WFP assisted more than 80 million people in 75 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Yuko Yasuda, WFP/Tokyo, Tel. +81 3 5766 5364, Mob. +81  90 9844 9990

 

TOKYO – At the invitation of the Government of Japan, Ertharin Cousin, the Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), will make a two-day visit to Japan from today to participate in the World Assembly for Women (WAW! Tokyo 2014).

643118
09/11/2014 - 08:45

Since August, WFP, alongside its local partner, the Barzani Charity Foundation, has successfully served more than 6 million meals to displaced people in Dohuk and Erbil cities in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The kitchens were first set up to help families fleeing persecution and violence in Sinjar who were unable to cook the contents of WFP’s standard food parcels.

The meals have fed more than 264,000 displaced people, bringing the total number assisted by WFP since the outbreak of the crisis in Mosul in mid-June to over 800,000. Another type of assistance are food parcels containing essential items such as rice and cooking oil given to displaced groups. The parcels constitute the bulk of WFP’s assistance. Each parcel feeds a family of five for one month. A third type of assistance is emergency rations including canned food for people on the move who need immediate support.  

“WFP’s partnership with the Government of Germany will enable us to finance the emergency field kitchen operations. Not only are these kitchens feeding many families and helping them settle, but they are also providing relief until humanitarian partners can supply urgently-needed cooking utensils and other items,” said Jane Pearce, Country Director for the WFP Office in Iraq.

WFP provides the field kitchens with its regular food parcels, including lentils and pasta, while the Barzani Charity Foundation supplies other commodities and cooks the meals.
 
Before the latest wave of displacements, WFP was already assisting about 240,00 people displaced by conflict in Iraq’s al-Anbar governorate, as well as more than 180,000 refugees from the conflict in Syria, who are sheltering in Iraq.

#                              #                                 #

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food in emergencies and working with communities to build resilience. In 2013, WFP assisted more than 80 million people in 75 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_mena

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Shaimaa Fayed, WFP/Erbil, Mobile: +9647508976184
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Mobile: +2 010 6663 4352
Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Mobile: +393467600521
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 20 72409001, Mob.  +44 7968 008474
Elisabeth Byrs, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. +41 79 473 4570
Bettina Luescher, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-5566909, Mob.  +1 646 8241112

 

 

BAGHDAD – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed a contribution of €2 million from the Government of Germany to help fund its emergency field kitchens in Iraq supplying hot meals to over a quarter of a million people

643145
09/10/2014 - 13:43
Responding to Emergencies

“This much-needed contribution comes at the right time, when we are scaling up food and nutrition support to meet the needs of a growing refugee population in Cameroon,” said Jacques Roy, WFP Cameroon Country Director and Representative.
 
Over 126,000 refugees have fled C.A.R for Cameroon since January 2014. Most of them arrive seriously malnourished, after having walked for weeks through the forest to escape the violence.
 
WFP and its partners have set up nutrition programmes on a large scale to prevent and treat malnutrition in young children and in pregnant women and nursing mothers. In addition, general food distributions are provided to over 80,000 refugees on a monthly basis.
 
“We need to constantly sustain our efforts so that more refugees do not fall into the malnutrition trap, but funding shortfalls can mean that we have to cut down on the support,” said Jacques Roy. “Thanks to the EU’s humanitarian aid, we can start the immediate purchase of additional essential items such as rice, pulses and oil, and specialized nutrition products for the prevention of malnutrition in young children and women,” Mr. Roy added.
 
WFP plans to support a refugee population from C.A.R which is expected to reach up to 180,000 people at the end of 2014, in addition to assisting third country nationals and vulnerable local people in Cameroon. To date, WFP, which is funded entirely by voluntary contributions, has only received around half of the resources needed for its refugee response.
 
#                              #                                 #
 
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food in emergencies and working with communities to build resilience. In 2013, WFP assisted more than 80 million people in 75 countries.
 
Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media
 
For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
 
Fabienne Pompey, WFP/Dakar, Tel. + 221 33 8496500, Mob. +221 77 6375964
Sofia Engdahl, WFP/Cameroon, Tel. + 237 22 231728, Mob. +237 75 394596
 
 
 

 

YAOUNDÉ – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a contribution of €1.3 million (US$1.7 million) from the European Union’s (EU) humanitarian aid budget to help bring vital food and nutrition support to refugees displaced by violence in the Central African Republic (C.A.R.)

643069
09/10/2014 - 10:42

Super Cereal comprise corn-soya blend and fortified with 19 vitamins and minerals.  The highly nutritious food will benefit 204,250 pregnant and nursing women as well as children aged under five in Sudan for almost three months.

“We are very grateful for this contribution which will enable us to prevent malnutrition among children, both in families displaced in the first half of this year in Darfur as well as those who have fled the conflict in South Sudan and sought refuge here in Sudan,” said WFP Country Director Adnan Khan.  

WFP and its partners are currently implementing nutrition programmes to assist some 182,000 children, pregnant women and nursing mothers across Darfur and another 80,800 children in Kassala, Red Sea and South Kordofan states.   

Besides WFP’s nutrition programme, the German Government also contributed US$ 1.3 million in June towards the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS).  The safe and reliable service, run by WFP, is widely used by members of the humanitarian community in Sudan, especially those working in areas where air transport is the only means of reaching the remote communities that they serve.  

"Germany continues to stand at the side of those suffering from conflict. With our contribution of US$ 2.7 million to WFP, we can support displaced families in Darfur and those having sought refuge from violent clashes in South Sudan. It will help keep air services for the entire humanitarian community in Sudan up and running and will in particular help those who are affected the most: little children. Our support is crucial as malnutrition at a young age can have dramatic consequences for the rest of a child's life," the German Ambassador to Sudan, Rolf Welberts, said.  

Since 2010, Germany has contributed some US$ 13.5 million towards WFP’s emergency operation in Sudan in addition to almost US$3.9 million towards UNHAS.

Sudan remains one of WFP’s largest and most complex operations, providing food assistance to people suffering from conflict, displacement and chronic under-nourishment in Darfur, as well as in the east and border areas to the south.

In 2014, WFP plans to assist 4.1 million people across Sudan, 3.2 million of whom are in the conflict-affected region of Darfur through general food distributions, food for training, food for work, school feeding and nutrition programmes to prevent and treat moderate acute malnutrition among women and children.

#                              #                                 #

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food in emergencies and working with communities to build resilience. In 2013, WFP assisted more than 80 million people in 75 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Amor Almagro, WFP/Khartoum, Tel. +249 183248001 (ext. 2114), Mob. +249 912174853
Abdulaziz Abdulmomin, WFP/Khartoum, Tel. +249 183248001 (ext. 2123), Mob. +249 912167055

 

KHARTOUM – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a US$ 2.7 million contribution from the Government of Germany. WFP will use the funds to buy 2,212 metric tonnes of Super Cereal, a nutrient-dense food that WFP adapted to prevent acute malnutrition, particularly among children in Sudan.

642997
09/05/2014 - 09:16

The focus of the drive in the build up to the world’s third-largest sporting event, which kicks off on September 18, 2015 will be a Million Meal Challenge, to raise funds for WFP to provide meals to school children in developing countries.
 
The Rugby World Cup Tackle Hunger partnership has been hugely successful in raising awareness and support of WFP’s work feeding the world’s hungry. And with England 2015 set to be the biggest Rugby World Cup to date, fans are digging deep to support the Million Meal Challenge.

More than US$21,000 has already been raised by voluntary online donations through the English Rugby Community ticket sales phase, and with global public ticket sales set to launch on September 12, the Rugby family is set to get behind the campaign.

“There is a powerful connection between good nutrition and sporting excellence and as the world’s largest humanitarian organisation, WFP is instrumental in ensuring that young children get the food they need to reach their full physical and intellectual potential,” said WFP Executive Director, Ertharin Cousin.  “The Tackle Hunger partnership with the IRB shows how the global rugby community can play an instrumental role in supporting our work on the frontlines of hunger.”

Rugby World Cup 2015 is set to be a global celebration of Rugby and its character-building values with more than 2.3 million fans expected to attend the 48-match, six-week showcase. As at every Rugby World Cup since 2003, the Tackle Hunger partnership will feature prominently throughout the tournament across all media.  

IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “The IRB and global Rugby family are proud to support the vital and life-saving work of the WFP through the Tackle Hunger partnership. As we look forward to celebrating what promises to be an exceptional Rugby World Cup in 2015, Rugby’s character-building values of integrity, passion, respect, discipline and solidarity will be on display.”

“And from the armchair to the stadia, we are calling on fans to join us in supporting the Million Meal Challenge to help nourish the bodies and minds of those who face a daily challenge of malnutrition and starvation”.

Now in its eleventh year, the Tackle Hunger partnership between WFP and the IRB was launched at Rugby World Cup 2003 in Australia and featured at France 2007 and New Zealand 2011 as well as Rugby World Cup Sevens, Women’s Rugby World Cup and the IRB Junior World Championship.  Shortly after the 2004 Asian Tsunami, the IRB organised an exhibition match in London between players from northern and southern hemisphere teams that raised more than US$3 million for WFP.

WFP and the IRB have been supported by England Rugby 2015, the Rugby World Cup 2015 organising body, in the build up to next year’s event and in July this year, children who receive WFP meals as part of a school feeding programme in Madagascar took part in an exhibition match during the global tour of the iconic Webb Ellis trophy.  Further opportunities are being developed to increase exposure of WFP’s work using food assistance to improve the lives of children.

For more information on the Million Meal Challenge and to support Tackle Hunger, visit www.irb.com/wfp

#                              #                                 #

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food in emergencies and working with communities to build resilience. In 2013, WFP assisted more than 80 million people in 75 countries.

Recent broadcast quality video footage of WFP operations is available on request.  Please email: gregory.barrow@wfp.org

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 20 72409001, Mob.  +44 7968 008474
Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65132321, Mob. +39 346 7600521
Elisabeth Byrs, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. +41 79 473 4570
Bettina Luescher, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-5566909, Mob.  +1-646-8241112

 

LONDON – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Rugby Board (IRB) have launched an ambitious push to raise funds and awareness as part of their Tackle Hunger partnership at Rugby World Cup 2015 in England.

642988
09/04/2014 - 15:11
ED - E.Cousin, Responding to Emergencies

The multi-year funding commitment was announced during a two-day visit to Finland by Ertharin Cousin, WFP’s Executive Director, who emphasised the critical importance of this flexible and reliable funding for the organization, which depends entirely on voluntary donations.
                                               
“Finland stands out among our partners, providing an example of good humanitarian donorship,” Cousin said after meeting leading members of government and civil society.  “The importance of predictable and flexible contributions cannot be overstated. It is absolutely crucial. WFP depends on these funds which ensure our ability to respond quickly and innovatively in various emergencies. Finland enables WFP to meet the increasing needs of the poorest and most vulnerable – as they deserve, and the world expects.”

Finland’s support is vital to WFP’s current emergency operations in conflict-affected South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Iraq, Syria and Gaza, as well as in countries affected by Ebola in West Africa.  

WFP adapts the delivery of food assistance according to the situation on the ground, for instance by using e-cards or vouchers when markets are functioning instead of in-kind food distributions. This type of flexible response, provided with Finnish support, is welcomed by recipients such as Syrian refugees in Lebanon or Jordan because it offers them a choice of fresh foods and a sense of normality. At the same time, the economies of host communities benefit through increased trade.

“An unusually difficult situation in the Middle East and in several countries in Africa have increased the need for assistance to an unprecedented level,” said Pekka Haavisto, Finland’s International Development Minister. “WFP is irreplaceable in this context, and in many other humanitarian crises.”
Finland also supports countries affected by climate change, such as Ethiopia, which receives assistance through resilience building programmes that enable farmers to save, diversify their livelihoods, create assets and insure against drought.  

The announcement of the contribution coincided with the annual conference in Helsinki, “Towards a global agenda for sustainable development post 2015” opened by Minister Haavisto and addressed by Executive Director Cousin.  
 
#                                 #

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food in emergencies and working with communities to build resilience. In 2013, WFP assisted more than 80 million people in 75 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Caroline Hurford WFP/Rome Mobile: +39 348 132 5018

 

HELSINKI/ROME – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a generous contribution of €29 million (US$40 million) from the Government of Finland. This contribution will support WFP’s life-saving humanitarian work in countries gripped by crises, as well as those struggling with hunger beyond the media spotlight.