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Official statements announcing key developments in WFP operations and activities.
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650396
09/28/2016 - 15:05
School Meals

At participating primary schools, students receive juice or milk and a nutritious locally-baked snack such as herb bread or a muffin fortified with vitamins and micronutrients. The programme, running for its second year, provides the energy students need to concentrate on their lessons and acts as an incentive for parents to send their children to school.

“I am delighted that such a large number of Lebanese and Syrian primary school students are back to school and are receiving a delicious and healthy snack,” said Dominik Heinrich, WFP Country Director in Lebanon. “These snacks have been instrumental in motivating the next generation of leaders in Lebanon and Syria to stay in school.”

By providing students with a daily nutritious snack, WFP is encouraging enrolment and attendance in school while supporting improved nutritional intake for these children. Families across Lebanon face several barriers that prevent them from sending their children to school, including high costs for education, school supplies and transportation. Vulnerable Syrian families in Lebanon also face a unique set of challenges to enrol and keep their children in school.

WFP school meals are fully funded by the Italian Development Cooperation and supported locally by the Italian Embassy in Beirut. 

“Italy and WFP's school meals initiative supports the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education with the aim of developing a sound mind in a healthy body for Lebanese and Syrian children,” said Massimo Marotti, Italian Ambassador to Lebanon.

Schools that participate in the programme are located in the most vulnerable communities across Lebanon, as identified by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The programme is carried out in close coordination with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.

Every month in Lebanon, WFP assists almost 700,000 of the most vulnerable Syrian and Palestinian refugees and Lebanese through electronic food vouchers so they can purchase their food from local markets. Since 2013, WFP’s food voucher programme has injected more than US$700 million into the Lebanese economy.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.
Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media
 
For more information please contact:
Dina El-Kassaby, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +2010 15218882
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +2010 66634352

BEIRUT – As the new term begins, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is again providing healthy and nutritious school food for more than 10,000 Lebanese and Syrian students attending public schools across Lebanon.

650387
09/28/2016 - 09:00
Responding to Emergencies

Through its local partner Muslim Aid, WFP distributed a one-month supply of food for families in the Khadhraniya area of Shirqat. 

“Families in Shirqat are in a desperate need of humanitarian support after being cut off from the outside world for more than two years,” said Sally Haydock, WFP Country Director in Iraq. “Thanks to a major contribution from USAID’s Food for Peace and Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, WFP will be able to continue providing support for newly displaced families from the larger Mosul area.”

The people of Shirqat have been living under very harsh conditions, struggling to access water, food, medical services and a functioning local market. WFP distributed rice, lentils, wheat flour, bulgur wheat, beans and vegetable oil for an initial 1,000 people. WFP will monitor the situation and support people in the town and surrounding villages over the coming weeks.

“This latest contribution of US$25 million to WFP continues and reinforces our support to displaced and conflict-affected Iraqis,” said Douglas Silliman, United States Ambassador to the Republic of Iraq. “Now, more than ever, it is important to partner with WFP in Iraq to reach those in need. Since 2014, the United States, through USAID's Office of Food for Peace, has provided more than US$113 million in life-saving emergency food assistance to the people of Iraq."

More than 3 million Iraqis have been displaced by conflict since mid-June 2014. In response, WFP has provided food assistance to more than 1 million vulnerable, displaced Iraqis across all 18 governorates.

WFP is scaling up its assistance to support people displaced from Mosul and surrounding areas as part of an inter-agency humanitarian response. To continue assisting displaced families in Iraq until the end of the year, WFP urgently requires US$68 million.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media and @wfp_mena.

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +2010 66634352
Dina El-Kassaby, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +2010 15218882
Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65132321, Mob. +39 346 7600521
Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. +41 79 842 8057
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 20 72409001, Mob. +44 7968 008474
Gerald Bourke, WFP/New York, Tel. +1 646 5566909, Mob. +1 646 525 9982
Steve Taravella, WFP/Washington DC, Tel. +1 202 6531149, Mob. +1 202 7705993

BAGHDAD – For the first time in more than two years, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has distributed urgently-needed food for people in and around the northern Iraqi town of Shirqat, 80 kilometres south of Mosul. Until this month, the town was under siege and cut off from humanitarian access since 2014. 

650393
09/27/2016 - 18:00

“The updated, credible and detailed information [in the Atlas] can assist the Government and development actors operating in the education sector of Pakistan in making informed policy and programme decisions,” said Haseeb Athar, Secretary for Federal Education and Professional Training, speaking at the launch of the report last Tuesday.

The Atlas is the only national publication providing education indicators by geographic location down to the tehsil level, enabling stakeholders to easily identify priority areas for interventions and resource allocation.

“Education and food security go hand in hand,” said Lola Castro, WFP’s Country Director. “An educated family is more likely to have the means to buy food, and to make smart choices about which foods to eat.  WFP, with its broad experience of school meals programmes, is one hundred percent behind the Government of Pakistan’s plans to bring improvement in education sector, and this Atlas is a tangible sign of the deep partnerships that are needed so children can achieve their potential” she said.

In addition to its value as a planning tool, the data from the Atlas also serves as a baseline for measuring progress towards the fourth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), which aims to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’. WFP is committed to supporting the Government of Pakistan to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

The report finds that school enrolment is still an area of concern in Pakistan, with just over half of school-aged children (50.8%) registered, representing only a marginal increase from 50.1% in 2010. Enrolment is higher for primary education, with a net enrolment rate of 72%. This means that 6.08 million children (28% of the total) aged 5-9 years are currently out of school, down from 6.16 million in 2013/14. Of the 6.08 million, 2.55 million are boys and 3.53 million are girls. Just below half of them (44%) live in Punjab, the most populous province. 

The report also reveals that only 69% of students who start Grade 1 stay on to Grade 5. Contributing to this is the fact that 67% of government schools have drinking water, while 69% have toilet facilities for students, 57% have electricity and 71% have boundary walls. The availability of these facilities has a direct impact on the retention of students. 

The Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training and WFP have worked together on the Pakistan Education Atlas since 2010. Under the one UN Joint Programme of Work, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and other partners were also involved in technical review sessions and promotion of the report.

The report may be downloaded from: http://vam.wfp.org.pk/Publication/Pakistan_Education_Atlas_2016.pdf

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in 80 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media; @WFPakistan; Facebook: WFPPakistan

For more information please contact:
Mahira Afzal, WFP/Islamabad, Mobile: +92 345 855 9333, mahira.afzal@wfp.org
Haseeb Khalid, WFP/Islamabad, Mobile: +92 300 0551914, haseeb.khalid@wfp.org 
Muhammad Bilal Kakli, Academy of Educational Planning and Management, Mobile: +92 321-5252154, bilalkakli@hotmail.com

ISLAMABAD – The Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) have launched the fifth edition of the Pakistan Education Atlas.

650386
09/27/2016 - 13:55

For more than 15 years, Hollingworth has worked for WFP in several countries, including Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Sudan and Syria. Most recently in Syria, Hollingworth led WFP operations and negotiated the delivery of much-needed food assistance to conflict-affected people, particularly in besieged areas.  

“I am very excited to return to Sudan at a time when WFP is broadening its focus and introducing innovative ways to promote food security and self-reliance among the people who have been receiving our assistance for many years,” said Hollingworth.  “I consider it an honour and a privilege to be leading the team involved with serving the most vulnerable people in Sudan.”  

Hollingworth has also held one of the top offices in the region serving as Deputy Regional Director for the WFP Regional Office for the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and Eastern Europe.  He was in Sudan on short missions in 2005 and 2009, and provided logistical support for WFP emergency response in Darfur.

In July 2015, WFP launched a two-year plan in Sudan which aims to reach 5.2 million people with life-saving food assistance, nutrition support as well as recovery and resilience-building activities to support communities to become self-reliant.  

New displacements created by fighting in Darfur’s Jebel Marra area, the continued influx of South Sudanese refugees and the ongoing impact of El Niño have created greater needs among the most vulnerable in Sudan. In response, WFP has increased its budget in Sudan from  US$693 million to US$721 million to cover the needs of an additional 900,000 people until June 2017.  

In 2016 alone, WFP plans to assist 4.6 million vulnerable people in Sudan through a mix of activities which include general food distribution, school feeding, nutrition programmes and food assistance for assets and training.

WFP operations in Sudan remain among the organization’s largest and most complex, providing food assistance to vulnerable people in Darfur and other food insecure groups in the east and border areas to the south. 

Hollingworth presented his credentials to the Government of Sudan at a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Ibrahim Ghandour. He succeeds former Representative and Country Director Adnan Khan. 

Hollingworth holds a Master of Science degree from Cranfield University in Supply Chain Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Politics from Southampton University in the United Kingdom. He is married with three children.  

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media @wfp_mena

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

KHARTOUM – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today announced the appointment of Matthew Hollingworth as its Representative and Country Director in Sudan. 

650385
09/27/2016 - 12:32
School Meals

“This is critical. School meals are often the only nutritious meal a child receives a day, relieving families from further financial stress, motivating parents to send their children to school, and, ultimately, serving as a vehicle for education,” said Silvia Caruso, WFP Mali Country Director. 

“Teachers tell us that if the meals are no longer provided, there is a significant risk that parents will stop sending their children to school; children find it difficult to walk long distances to school or stay in class for a full day on an empty stomach,” added Caruso.

Despite the high levels of insecurity–especially in northern and central Mali since 2012, WFP and its partners were able to provide school meals to an average of 170,000 children per year, half of which were girls. 

WFP’s school meals were instrumental in in the Government’s 2015 back to school campaign, encouraging families to let their children resume their studies in regions such as Mopti, Timbuktu and Gao which had been bearing the brunt of the conflict, and where schools were closed between 2012 and 2015.

“We urge our supporters not to forget the children of Mali. They have been through a lot these past years. Going to school helps them regain their childhood, and school meals play an important role in keeping them in school,” says Caruso. 

WFP works closely with the Ministry of Education to implement the school meals programme - a priority for the Government of Mali, which approved a national school feeding in 2009. 

Since 2010, Mali has faced successive food security crises, brought on by irregular rainfall and prolonged insecurity in the North. More than a quarter of the population suffers from moderate and severe food insecurity; of this, almost half a million are severely food insecure.

Even in peaceful years, malnutrition rates in Mali are among the highest in the world. According to a 2014 national survey, the average prevalence of global acute malnutrition (GAM) in children under five stands at 13 percent. The World Health Organization rates a GAM prevalence between 10-14 percent as serious, and above 15 percent as a critical emergency.

WFP partners with small-scale farmers to buy locally grown, fresh food for its school meals programmes, boosting agricultural incomes and local economies as well as feeding hungry children.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Follow us on Twitter: @WFP_WAfrica, @WFP_media

For more information, please contact (firstname.secondname@wfp.org):
Laura Lee Morris, WFP/Bamako: +223 75 81 44 67
Adel Sarkozi, WFP/Dakar: +221 77 637 59 64

BAMAKO – As schools resume next week in Mali, school meals for nearly 180,000 children in about 1,000 schools are in jeopardy due to financial constraints at the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) – the main supporter of such initiatives. Unless US$3 million in funding is found urgently, WFP will have to suspend its school meals programme in Mali.

650383
09/27/2016 - 10:50
Contributions to WFP

Malawi has been badly hit by two years of drought, most recently as a result of the most intense El Niño weather event in decades. Widespread crop failure has led to a second consecutive national maize deficit and the worst food insecurity in living memory. It is estimated that 40 percent of the population will need humanitarian food assistance by the peak of the lean season during the early months of 2017. 

In support of the national response, WFP is currently reaching more than one million people in three districts of Malawi with food assistance and, in areas with functioning markets, with cash-based transfers for people to purchase food. 

In response to the severity of the situation, relief operations are being scaled up to reach 5.8 million of the estimated 6.5 million people expected to require food assistance during the peak of the lean season, according to latest data from the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee.  International non-governmental organizations are working to cover the needs of the remaining 700,000 food insecure people.

The first consignments of the imported maize started arriving in Malawi in early September from Mexico and then from Zambia, within weeks of WFP agreeing to purchase the cereals on behalf of the Government of Malawi; the final shipment is scheduled to reach Malawi in October.

“We applaud the Government of Malawi for their continued commitment to addressing food insecurity during this unprecedented time of emergency,” says WFP Acting Country Director Mietek Maj. “This contribution provides a critical boost to our maize supply which has been uncertain for the past few months. Being able to respond to people’s needs now is a vital step in protecting development gains already made and in working towards the goal of Zero Hunger.”

An additional pledge of US$8.6 million will bring the Government’s total contribution to WFP to more than US$30 million, making it one of the largest donors to WFP’s emergency response in Malawi. In addition to these funds, the Government has recently provided to WFP some 60,000 metric tons of maize from its Strategic Grain Reserve.

“The President has reiterated his stand that, come what may, his Government will see to it that no Malawian dies of hunger,” said Vice President Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima, at the launch of the current lean season relief operation in Nsanje district in July this year. “The Government will further support the restoration of livelihoods of drought-affected people through linkages with continuing resilience building activities.”
 
WFP welcomes contributions from the United Kingdom to cover the associated costs of moving and distributing the maize purchased on behalf of the Government.  The United States and Australia have also made contributions for moving the maize from the Strategic Grain Reserve but additional funding is required to transport and distribute this maize.

Significant funding gaps also remain for essential non-maize commodities and cash-based assistance. In total, WFP requires US$100 million to fully meet the humanitarian needs of the people of Malawi till March 2017.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media and @wfp_africa

For more information please contact:
Sarah Rawson, WFP/Lilongwe, Mob. +265 (0)999972402, sarah.rawson@wfp.org
David Orr, WFP/Johannesburg, Mob. +27 (0)829081417, david.orr@wfp.org
Jeremiah Mphande, Office of the Vice President - Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA), Email: jerexjerex@gmail.com, Phone: +265 (0)999882300/+265 (0)884545535

BLANTYRE – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is importing 55,000 metric tons of maize, thanks to a major contribution of nearly US$22 million from the Government of Malawi. The maize will meet the needs of up to 4.7 million people in drought-affected areas of Malawi over the coming months.

650379
09/26/2016 - 15:41
Responding to Emergencies

This is the first time that food and humanitarian supplies have reached these areas since April. 

“This convoy has brought extraordinary relief for 60,000 people who are in dire need of food and medical supplies, and have been cut off from humanitarian access for five months,” said WFP Syria Country Director Jakob Kern. 

WFP sent 45 trucks carrying food rations and wheat flour to the four towns as part of a joint UN-SARC convoy. The food rations contain rice, lentils, bulgur wheat, vegetable oil, sugar, salt, beans and chick peas, and are sufficient for 60,000 people for one month. WFP also delivered to Madaya and Zabadani a three-month supply of specialized nutritious products for the prevention of malnutrition for 250 children.

“Elsewhere in Syria, we are extremely concerned about the more than 250,000 people trapped in eastern Aleppo city who are cut off from food, water, medicine, and other essential supplies,” added Kern. “We call on all parties to this terrible conflict to immediately open transport routes that allow unconditional, unimpeded, sustained and safe humanitarian access to those in eastern Aleppo and every family across Syria that needs our support.” 

Last week, a convoy reached the besieged area of Moadamiyet al Sham in Rural Damascus for the first time since July, delivering WFP food for 35,000 people for one month, in addition to other humanitarian assistance. An additional interagency convoy went to Al Wa’er in Homs, providing WFP food for 37,000 people and wheat flour for 70,000 people for one month.  A third convoy to Talbiseh in Rural Homs brought enough wheat flour from WFP for 84,000 people for one month, in addition to other food supplies.

Across Syria, WFP provides food assistance to more than 4 million people every month. Thirty per cent of this food is delivered through cross-border, cross-line and air operations to areas that are not reachable through regular road deliveries. 

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media and @wfp_mena

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +2 01066634352
Dina El-Kassaby, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +2 01015218882
Marwa Awad, WFP/Damascus, Tel. +963 958882900
Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65132321, Mob. +39 346 7600521
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 20 72409001, Mob.  +44 7968 008474
Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. + 41-79-842-8057
Gerald Bourke, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-5566909, Mob.  +1-646 525 9982

DAMASCUS – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) yesterday delivered life-saving food assistance to besieged families in the Four Towns of Madaya and Zabadani in Rural Damascus and Foaa and Kefraya in Rural Idlib as part of a joint interagency convoy with UN agencies and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC).

650376
09/25/2016 - 12:00
Contributions to WFP, Preventing Hunger

Her Excellency Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation, and WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin signed an agreement on Thursday on the side lines of UN General Assembly meetings in New York. 

WFP will use the UAE contribution to buy 7,000 metric tons of staple food including wheat, pulses, vegetable oil and sugar as well as wheat soya blend – a special product to prevent and treat moderate acute malnutrition among children under the age of 5 and pregnant and nursing mothers.

“We appreciate this contribution from the United Arab Emirates because it will help us provide vital food assistance to families who struggle to feed themselves and their children in Yemen,” said Cousin. “Over the years, our partnership with the UAE has helped save millions of lives worldwide. We can always count on the generosity of the UAE and its people in these difficult times.”

Commenting on the agreement, Minister Al Hashimy said: “Providing such assistance is part of the pledge to support the humanitarian and relief efforts for those affected people, especially women and children, within the framework of the humanitarian approach that the UAE adopts.”

She added that “the UAE looks forward to achieve more effective work and strengthen the partnership with the WFP for the ultimate goal of providing relief to those who are suffering the most.”

The number of food insecure people in Yemen is estimated at close to 14 million, according to a WFP food security assessment in June. This includes 7 million people who are severely food insecure, with 70 percent of the population of some governorates unable to provide food for themselves.

WFP is providing food to six million people in Yemen every two months, rotating assistance between families in greatest need due to limited resources. WFP support has helped to stabilize the situation, though in the context of Yemen, this means that food insecurity remains persistently high.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media, @wfp_MENA, @ShareTheMealorg

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Intisar AlQsar, WFP/Sana’a, Mob. +962791295742
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +2010 66634352
Reem Nada, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +202 2528 1730 ext. 2610, Mob. +20 0166634522
Mohammed Amasha, WFP/Dubai Tel. +971 4 454 9560, Mob. +971 55 826 9371 
Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. + 41-79-842-8057
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 20 72409001, Mob.  +44 7968 008474
Steve Taravella, WFP/Washington DC, Tel. +1 202 653 1149, Mob. +1 202 770 5993

NEW YORK – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomed a contribution of US$6 million from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to provide vital food assistance to more than 100,000 people monthly for four months in Yemen.

650363
09/23/2016 - 12:00
Preventing Hunger

This first Strategic Partnership Agreement between Iceland and WFP was signed in New York on Thursday during the UN General Assembly opening week by Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs Lilja Alfreðsdóttir and WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin. 

“Through this framework agreement with WFP, Iceland is following up on its commitments from the World Humanitarian Summit, to provide predictable and flexible life-saving funding to improve support to those in need of humanitarian assistance, according to humanitarian principles and good humanitarian donorship,” said Minister Alfreðsdóttir. 

“Reaching the most vulnerable groups is essential, and through this agreement with WFP, we can do that and ensure that gender equality and women's rights become pillars of humanitarian action,” she added.

Within Iceland’s humanitarian policy, WFP remains a key UN partner organization to Iceland.

“At a time of unprecedented humanitarian emergencies, WFP highly appreciates partners such as Iceland for enabling us to respond quickly and effectively to the needs of millions of people caught up in conflict or natural disasters,” said Cousin. “Early response saves lives and livelihoods. It also allows WFP to help those left furthest behind.”

Flexible funding is the lifeblood of humanitarian operations; it is also critical to WFP’s ability to react fast in emergencies as well as maintain support for neglected crises.

Inspired by the “Grand Bargain” proposed at the World Humanitarian Summit earlier this year, under which donors committed to more flexible funding and aid agencies to greater transparency and cost-consciousness, Iceland will provide WFP with funds that are not earmarked for specific countries or specific operations. 

Over the next five years and through the Strategic Partnership Agreement, Iceland’s contribution to WFP will be at least ISK 250 million (US$2.2 million) in fully flexible funding. The agreement also allows for earmarked contributions, as the Government of Iceland plans to complement its flexible funds with directed contributions.

With its deep commitment to humanitarian principles and dedication to Good Humanitarian Donorship, Iceland remains one of WFP’s most valued strategic partners. 

The Strategic Partnership Agreement is centred around food security and nutrition challenges in both emergencies and protracted crises, including ways of promoting livelihood opportunities. There is also a focus on gender issues and accountability to affected populations. 

Since 2003, WFP has benefited from an active Stand-By Agreement with Iceland’s Crisis Response Unit through which Icelandic professionals have been seconded to WFP. With the new Strategic Partnership Agreement, the Stand-By Agreement will be expanded to enhance WFP’s capacity to respond to emergencies and strengthen its food assistance operations. 

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @MFAIceland, @WFP_DK and @wfp_media

For more information please contact:
Gunnar Salvarsson, Icelandic MFA, Mob. + 354 699 5506, Email: gunnar.salvarsson@utn.stjr.is 
Anne Poulsen, WFP/Copenhagen, Mob. +45 40503993, Email: anne.poulsen@wfp.org 
Caroline Hurford, WFP/Rome, Mob. +39 348 1325018, Email: caroline.hurford@wfp.org

NEW YORK – Iceland and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) signed a landmark agreement to provide flexible, predictable and multi-year funding for WFP’s work towards helping to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2 of zero hunger by 2030.

650371
09/22/2016 - 21:00
Preventing Hunger, RBA

The Zero Hunger Challenge was launched in 2012 by Secretary-General Ban who handed the Zero Hunger initiative on to the three agencies today at an event in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

“Many have responded to the Zero Hunger Challenge,” the Secretary-General said. “As I end my term in office, I am asking FAO, WFP and IFAD to take my Challenge forward. I am confident they will not rest until Zero Hunger is a reality.”

The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization, José Graziano da Silva, the President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, Kanayo F. Nwanze, and the Executive Director of the World Food Programme, Ertharin Cousin, committed their organizations to take over the Zero Hunger Challenge and pursue its goals.

Speaking ahead of the “Pathways to Zero Hunger” event, sponsored by the three agencies, the UN Global Compact and the office of the SG’s youth envoy, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said: "There was a time when food security, nutrition, rural livelihoods, and sustainable agriculture were viewed as separate tasks, as the responsibility of different actors, and with different purposes. 

“The success of the Zero Hunger pioneered in Brazil and adopted and adapted in countries throughout the world show that these issues should be tackled together, in an all out effort involving governments, international institutions, family farmers, civil society and the private sector,” said Graziano da Silva. 

“The Secretary-General has always urged us to work as partners and build a truly global movement towards Zero Hunger. His leadership is an inspiration and we in Rome must now play an even greater role to generate momentum and strengthen partnerships to realize his vision of a world free from hunger,” said WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin.

In Rome, ahead of the New York event, IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze said, “With almost 800 million people going to bed hungry every night, it is vital that we build on the momentum generated by the Zero Hunger Challenge and the Secretary-General. Together we can deliver zero hunger, but only if we focus on rural areas of developing countries where most of the world’s poorest and hungriest people live.”

The Zero Hunger Challenge calls on leaders, businesses and civil society to step up efforts to end hunger in our lifetimes. It is based around five objectives: access to enough food and a healthy diet for all people, all year round; an end to malnutrition in all its forms; sustainable food systems from production to consumption;  an end to rural poverty -- doubling smallholder productivity and incomes; adapting food systems to eliminate loss and waste.

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FAO leads international efforts to defeat hunger.  FAO assists developing countries and countries in transition to modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all. FAO focuses special attention on developing rural areas, home to 70 percent of the world's poor and hungry people.

IFAD invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided over US$17.6 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached about 459 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome – the UN’s food and agriculture hub.

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries. Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media  

For more information please contact:
FAO: Sudeshna Chowdhury, New York sudeshna.chowdhury@fao.org  Mob. (+1) 917 963 6036
IFAD: James Heer Rome, j.heer@ifad.org  Tel. +39 06 54569 2550, Mob. +39 335 782 4675
WFP: Gerald Bourke, New York gerald.bourke@wfp.org Mob. (+1) 646 525 9982

NEW YORK – The heads of the Rome-based food and agriculture agencies today thanked United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his personal commitment and leadership in challenging the world to reach Zero Hunger. They promised to maintain momentum to reach the ambitious target by 2030.