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A unique view of all the ways WFP is assisting millions of people worldwide.

10/02/2015 - 13:26

It is just two days before the Tabaski and there is great bustle in each small town you pass through. Colourful silhouettes queue up to buy food for the family, new clothes for the children. There are sheep everywhere, many standing motionless, as if already resigned to the fate that awaits them. 

Noontime arrived, the heat is terrifying. It intensifies every minute, the burning air quivering and undulating.

You stop in a village on the outskirts of Kaedi town. You walk past mudbrick houses; constructions in ruins (the villagers cannot afford to repair them); outdoor terraces (an area covered with thick fabric to block out the sun). People and animals mingle on the path to the school. A group of girls – aged six to 14 – wearing bright dresses with matching scarves gather in the school yard. The summer holiday is not quite over yet, but the girls say that they are eager for the classes to resume.

You ask their names. Kadjima, Ramata, Paulele, Dianouba, roll the answers. Kadijma, 13, reveals later on that she would like to become a midwife/nurse. Asked why, she raises her shoulders. The answer is simple. There are no midwives in the village, and there is a great need for one.

Aisatta, one of the moms gathered in the schoolyard, says that there are more and more girls going to school now, unlike the time when she was a young girl. The principal echoes her words. More than half of the students are girls, and the number of students nearly doubled in the past five-six years.

Do WFP school meals help? It is one of the main reasons children come to school, says another parent. In a country where nearly one in three people do not have enough food to lead a healthy life, the daily hot meals at school are a lifesaver for the school children.

The new school year is to start mid-October, and WFP is getting ready to reach more than 150,000 students like Kadijma and her friends. But without urgent support, WFP will only be able to sustain its school meals programme for two months.

“This will make life more difficult for us, the parents,” says Aisatta. “For many children, the meals they receive at school – breakfast and lunch – are their sole, regular food per day. No school canteen means more expenses for families who are already struggling to feed their children.”

The village of Betieck, about 40 kilometres from Kaedi, is not that different from the previous village, except that it is isolated. When it rains, as it does on the day of the visit, even the four-wheel drive battles to cut across the muddy fields surrounding the village. In view of its insularity, the villagers, not surprisingly, are curious to come and meet you.  

Women and young children sit on the floor, outside a small building which serves as a centre for malnutrition treatment. All children between six months to two years (about 80 children) receive fortified nutritional supplements aimed to prevent malnutrition.

So do the pregnant and nursing women (about 110 women). Malnutrition rates are high in this region (Gorgol), with global acute malnutrition rates surpassing WHO’s critical emergency threshold, at 18 percent. Moderately malnourished children also benefit from WFP’s nutritional products so that they can recover.

To help families cope during the lean season, WFP is providing cash to more than half of Betieck’s families so that they can buy food and cover other essential costs. There is food in the market but with little buying power, the villagers are struggling to have enough food.

Tutu, a young expecting mom with five children, benefits from both cash and nutritional support.

“We had little harvest last year,” she says. “Food is scarce both for us and for the animals. We lost some of our cattle because of this. It’s been difficult. This is why my husband went to the capital during the lean season - to work and send money to the family. Even so, I have been having debts at the food store. This is why I was happy when I heard that I would be receiving support. When I got the first cash installment, I went to pay the debts, I bought food and I was able to go to the hospital. I’ve been sick and worried about this as I am pregnant but could not afford to go to the doctor…I am waiting impatiently to receive this month’s distribution as I have nothing left now.”

Tutu is in front of her hut, pouring the nutritious flour she has just received into a boiling pot of water. With every stir, the porridge is getting thicker and soon it is ready to eat.

Sheena, anther villager - elderly widow with 14 children - adds: “I’ve been living in this village since a young girl. Things are getting worse every year. We are getting poorer and poorer, and it is becoming more difficult to survive. The cash that I received enabled me to cover my essential needs – mainly food. We are doing our best to manage the little that we have. God willing.”

The rain sets in. It pours down heavily like a wall – a wall of rain. People run inside for shelter, and as you look around at the muddy pools of water widening and deepening with every minute passed, you cannot help wondering: how will help arrive the following days when the cash distributions are scheduled?

Distances, difficulty in accessing remote places especially during the rainy season are only additional challenges that WFP faces when coming to the aid of communities in need. Yet, you sense a great will, desire to help coming from dedicated, compassionate staff. If only all the financial means were available. In a context where Mauritania continues to bear the brunt of reoccurring food crises, chronic malnutrition, and instability spilling over from neighbouring Mali, lack of funding is severely hampering WFP’s work with drastic consequences on the lives of the most vulnerable.

You travel through the countryside in southern Mauritania, heading to Kaedi – about 400 kilometres away from the capital, towards the border with Senegal. You have five to six hours to take in the world unfolding around you. The rolling hills. The dunes of sand. The brightly coloured houses dotting the desert. A camel. Not giving a ride but taking one – in the back of a jeep.  The sky. In the bluest shade you can imagine, with big, fluffy clouds gliding across it. 

10/01/2015 - 14:09

Iron-fortified nutritious rice

Deepak and his classmates at Saraswati Vidya Mandir School, in Mohana, a small town in Gajapati District in India, say they like their daily meal. But this is no ordinary lunch. “The special rice has iron in it and it’s good for me, as it will help my brain develop better,” says Deepak. “I told my parents about the rice in school. It’s different from the rice I eat at home.” 

Deepak is one of the 100,000 students in Odisha who receive iron-fortified rice as part of a mid-day meal programme provided through the state government. In a project implemented by WFP since 2012, and paid for in part through funds raised during last year’s World Hunger Relief campaign, ordinary rice provided by the state is fortified with iron at a WFP contracted mill.

Positive results = decline in anaemia

The fortified rice provides a significant proportion of the recommended dietary intake of iron for children in Odisha, at a reasonable cost. And the project has shown positive results - with a 20 percent decline in anaemia reported amongst children aged 6-14 years in the region in the last 24 months. Much of this reduction can be directly attributed to the consumption of the iron-fortified mid-day meals. Prior to the project, schools in the district used to hand out iron tablets to students, but reportedly many children did not like the taste - and were reluctant to take the medicine.

But when it comes to rice, it is often not the children who need convincing. Mr. Rabindra Kumar Mudiyalu, Headmaster of Gandhi Memorial School, which is also in Gajapati, says he must sometimes reassure the parents that the food is okay – by feeding it to them. “We have school committee meetings which are attended by some parents, where we cook and serve the rice so the parents are also able to taste the rice and appreciate its value,” he says.

“I think this rice should be given in all the districts of Odisha,” says Deepak. “Why only Gajapati? It should especially be given in places where children are so poor that they have no food at all. I want them also to get this rice so they too can become stronger.”

Addressing hunger and raising awareness

World Hunger Relief is an annual campaign, implemented by Yum! brands to raise awareness and funds to address hunger issues on a global scale. Proceeds from this campaign primarily benefit WFP’s school meal programme. In India, Yum! brands has been contributing towards WFP’s programme since 2008.

Be part of the World Hunger Relief Campaign in 2015

To learn more about WFP initiatives to improve child nutrition through rice fortification in Gajapati.

Every school day, Deepak Kumar Patro, who is in grade seven, receives a bowl of rice, soya, eggs and dal provided by the World Food Programme (WFP) as part of its school meals programme.

09/30/2015 - 18:26

Over 10 years on since the WFP and World Rugby Tackle Hunger partnership was first launched, the global rugby family is teaming up once again to support WFP’s work around the world.

Here’s a quick look at just some of the highlights involving rugby’s fight against hunger…

1. Rugby World Cup 2015 – Are you ready to tackle hunger?

A school child in Ethiopia enjoys a WFP meal

Your donation will help more children like Masho (above) to attend school. Copyright: WFP/ Rein Skullerud

With Rugby World Cup 2015 on track to be the biggest Rugby World Cup to date, World Rugby and WFP are calling on all fans and supporters to back this campaign. There is a powerful connection between good nutrition and sporting excellence and the Tackle Hunger partnership is instrumental in ensuring that children get the food they need to reach their full physical and intellectual potential.

Just £5 ($8) can provide 5 weeks of school meals for a child who may otherwise not eat. Donate now!

2. A ticket to the game = nutritious school meals in Senegal

A child in Senegal receiving a nutritious WFP school meal.

A child in Senegal receiving a nutritious WFP school meal. Over 1m meals have been generated through Tackle Hunger in the run-up to Rugby World Cup 2015. Copyright: WFP/ MaΪmouna Cissé

For many children, a WFP school meal will be their only meal each day, providing an incentive to attend school and obtain an education. In the build up to RWC2015, the Tackle Hunger Million Meal Challenge saw fans raise more than £175,000 through voluntary donations during ticket sales – enough for up to one million school meals for children in Senegal!

3. Rugby takes the lead in Madagascar

School children in Madagascar watch and take part in a rugby match as part of the Rugby World Cup 2015 International Trophy TourSchool children in Madagascar watch and take part in a rugby match as part of the Rugby World Cup 2015 International Trophy Tour. Copyright: World Rugby

A rugby match between local schools in Madagascar was a highlight of the Rugby World Cup 2015 International Trophy Tour. Taking place in the matches were just some of the many children receiving school meals as part of the 1,200 primary schools that WFP supports with food in drought-hit southern regions of Madagascar.

4. Helping to serve up school meals in Kenya

WFP school meals are served up at an educational centre in Kenya's Kibera.

WFP school meals are served up at an educational centre in Kibera, Kenya. Copyright: WFP/Challiss McDonough

WFP provides meals in many schools in Kenya increasing the childrens' attention spans and energy for their lessons. World Rugby contributed £5,000 ($7,700) to school meals in 2012 to help more kids achieve their potential.

5. Rugby World Cup winning captains take on Swaziland

David Kirk performing the Haka in Swaziland as Ambassador of the Tackle Hunger campaign

David Kirk performing the Haka in Swaziland as Ambassador of the Tackle Hunger campaign.Copyright: WFP/Mikael Huggins

A sobering 30 percent of Swaziland’s children suffer from stunted growth as a result of malnutrition. WFP is working to improve this and provided food to 52,000 orphaned and vulnerable children in the country in 2015. As Ambassadors of the Tackle Hunger campaign, former Rugby World Cup captains David Kirk (New Zealand) and Nick Farr-Jones (Australia) visited the land-locked country in 2003 to raise awareness of child hunger.

6. Remember Rugby World Cup 2007?

Despite carrying the expectations of an entire rugby-loving nation on his shoulders, Bernard Laporte, coach of Rugby World Cup 2007 host union France, still found time to remember the tournament’s humanitarian cause, Tackle Hunger, in this video that was played on giant screens throughout.

7. Rugby Aid match raises £2.6 million ($3.3 million) following the 2004 tsunami…

Fans gather to support the Tackle Hunger rugby aid match following the 2004 tsunami.

Fans gather to support the Tackle Hunger rugby aid match following the 2004 tsunami. Copyright: WFP/Rein Skullerud

Following the 2004 Asian tsunami, the rugby family rallied around to host a rugby aid match at Twickenham, which raised almost $3.5 million for WFP’s tsunami appeal. The money raised by the match was vitally important to WFP’s long-term relief in Asia and also played a crucial role in raising awareness about the scale of the disaster.

8. …and helps rebuild affected communities in Asia

Rugby star Nick Farr-Jones supports the WFP recovery operations in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.

Rugby star Nick Farr-Jones supports the WFP recovery operations in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Copyright: Rama Surya

The sheer scale of the devastation following the tsunami meant that WFP operations, especially in Indonesia and Sri Lanka, were ongoing for many years. Money donated by World Rugby, fans and other stakeholders supported WFP’s long-term rebuilding programmes in Indonesia, and former Rugby World Cup winning captain Nick Farr-Jones travelled to Banda Aceh in 2005 to support WFP’s recovery operations in the area.

9. Raising awareness across World Rugby platforms

Pitch-side LED boards like those at the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series 2014-15 in Amsterdam help promote the Tackle Hunger partnership in stadia, on television and online

Pitch-side LED boards like those at the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series 2014-15 in Amsterdam help promote the Tackle Hunger partnership in stadia, on television and online. Copyright: World Rugby

A feature at every Rugby World Cup since 2003, the Tackle Hunger partnership has also been showcased at many World Rugby tournaments and events over the years including Rugby World Cup Sevens (Dubai 2009 and Moscow 2013), Women’s Rugby World Cup (France 2014), World Rugby U20 Championship (Italy 2015), World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series (The Netherlands 2014-15) and the World Rugby Conference & Exhibition (Dublin 2013 and London 2014) to name but a few. Each opportunity enables World Rugby and WFP to further engage the rugby family and raise awareness of the partnership, WFP’s important work globally and how fans can support Tackle Hunger.

10. The Webb Ellis Cup visits WFP HQ in Rome

WFP’s Executive Director, Ertharin Cousin greets World Rugby’s Head of Communications, Dominic Rumbles

WFP’s Executive Director, Ertharin Cousin greets World Rugby’s Head of Communications, Dominic Rumbles. Copyright: WFP/Rein Skullerud

In the build-up to Rugby World Cup 2015, the Rugby World Cup International Trophy Tour called in at WFP to pay tribute to the agency’s joint Tackle Hunger partnership with World Rugby. WFP’s Executive Director, Ertharin Cousin, highlighted the important role of the partnership:

“There is a strong link between good nutrition that supports the physical and intellectual development and helps to nurture sporting excellence. This is exactly what the Tackle Hunger partnership is striving to promote.”

Find out how you can help Tackle Hunger at Rugby World Cup 2015.


For Rugby World Cup 2015, fans from all over the world are putting their weight behind a challenge off the pitch: raising awareness and funds for the World Food Programme (WFP)’s school meals and emergency response work around the world.

09/30/2015 - 09:54

1) Some 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. That's about one in nine people on earth. 

2) The vast majority of the world's hungry people live in developing countries, where 13.5 percent of the population is undernourished. 

3) Asia is the continent with the most hungry people – two-thirds of the total population. The percentage in southern Asia has fallen in recent years but in western Asia, it has increased slightly.

4) Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the highest prevalence (percentage of population) of hunger. One in four persons is undernourished. 

5) Poor nutrition causes nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five - 3.1 million children each year.  

6) One in four of the world's children are stunted. In developing countries the proportion can rise to one in three.

7) One out of six children – roughly 100 million – in developing countries is underweight.

8) If women farmers had the same access to resources as men, the number of hungry in the world could be reduced by up to 150 million. 

9) Sixty-six million primary school-age children attend classes hungry across the developing world, with 23 million in Africa alone.

10) WFP calculates that US$3.2 billion is needed per year to reach all 66 million hungry school-age children.

Learn more about hunger and malnutrition from WFP's comprehensive list of Facts About Hunger and Malnutrition.



1. Source: State of Food Insecurity in the World, FAO, 2015
2. Source: State of Food Insecurity in the World, FAO, 2015
3. Source: State of Food Insecurity in the World, FAO, 2015
4. Source: State of Food Insecurity in the World, FAO, 2015
5. Source: Series on Maternal and Child Nutrition, The Lancet, 2013
6. Source: Global health Observatory, WHO, 2012
7. Source: Prevalence and Trends of Stunting among ... Children, Public Health Nutrition, 2012
8. Source: Women in Agriculture: Closing the Gender Gap for Development, FAO, 2011
9. Source:Two Minutes to Learn About School Meals, WFP, 2012
10. Source:Two Minutes to Learn About School Meals, WFP, 2012

Here are ten things to know to understand the global food and nutrition situation. Please help the World Food Programme (WFP) raise awareness by sharing these facts on Twitter.

09/28/2015 - 14:55

It’s half past five on a cool summer morning in Mwenezi, Zimbabwe and Zvodai Ndambakuwa, aged 23, is sitting impatiently on the 20-litre container she uses to haul water. Every five minutes, she glances down at the one-metre deep well, hoping the water level will be high enough for her to haul it. She has been at the well since 4 o’clock in the morning.

“Ever since I was born, water has been a problem in this area. Now I’m married, have two kids, and we are still facing the same problem,” says Ndambakuwa. “Everyone’s hopes are now pinned on the weir dam the World Food Programme is building. It will bring life to not only my family and our livestock, but to the six villages that surround us.”

The World Food Programme (WFP) is promoting the creation and rehabilitation of small dams including weir dams in arid parts of the country.  The dams are part of WFP’s Food for Asset programme aimed at strengthening communities’ resilience to climactic shocks. Funded under a joint initiative by the United States and Japan, 114 dams are being created or rehabilitated across 10 districts in 2015.

“Japan’s contribution not only helps WFP meet people’s immediate food needs but also helps provide the most vulnerable with a means to cope with shocks, such as drought,” says WFP Country Director of Zimbabwe Eddie Rowe. “Building resilience is the key to achieving sustainable development and creating a future free from hunger.”

In the districts of Zvishavane and Mwenezi, some 83,000 people are likely to face hunger during the height of the 2015/16 lean season. WFP established its Productive Asset Creation programme to help vulnerable communities move away from dependency on food assistance by creating assets that increase their resilience to future food security shocks. The Tsvimborume dam, for example, located 150 kilometres from Zimbabwe’s oldest town, Masvingo, and created under WFP’s Productive Asset Creation programme, will benefit more than  2,000 people and some 8,000 livestock.

Zvishavane and Mwenezi are among a number of districts in southern Zimbabwe that have suffered as a result of consecutive bad harvests caused by poor rains during the growing season. It is estimated that at least 1.5 million people across the country will be food insecure during the height of the lean season after a 50 percent decrease in crop production this year.

The construction of the weir dam was implemented by WFP, in partnership with the Mwenezi Development Training Centre and with support from the Government of Japan. Able-bodied, food-insecure people receive food rations to meet their immediate needs while they work on the project. Work at the construction site resumed early this year after it went on hold in 2013. 

WFP's Food for Asset and Productive Asset Creation programmes are strengthening communities’ resilience to climactic shocks by rehabilitating 114 dams across the country

09/24/2015 - 09:17

Not just an Assembly, UNGA is a week of talking about world problems by world leaders and this year’s United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is more than just a bit special.

A call to action


Because the 70th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session, which kicked off earlier this month, is more than just a bit special. It’s not just an Assembly. It’s also a call to action. And it’s waiting for you to get involved!

Today, world leaders meeting in New York are set to adopt 17 global goals to be met in the next 15 years. One of these is the eradication of hunger.

Achieving Zero Hunger by 2030 is not a distant dream. It can be done. We know how to get there. And despite all the crises in our world, and despite climate change and population growth, we can do it. 

Global movement

We must mobilize Generation Zero Hunger, a movement encompassing governments, local communities, non-governmental organizations, private companies, faith-based organizations academics, and individuals.  

Of course Zero Hunger is not unique among the other global  goals – all are interconnected and interdependent as we seek to build a better world. But this is where they – and we – need you to help make sure the goals are met.

We want you to join with a growing community, creating waves of media and messages to bring us all safe to shore. We want you to march, mobilise, make a mark for Zero Hunger.

And we need young people to take our message direct to the media. Why? To build pressure on those who create the conditions in which people lose their homes, their jobs and even their families in violence, conflict, and war.

We can promote your posts and blogs online. Just start tweeting and posting ideas as to how to end world hunger by 2030, using #ZeroHunger!


Watch the Mobilizing Generation Zero Hunger webcast event.

Young people can end hunger in the world. They are aware; they care; and they want to make a difference and now, is the time to do so. 

09/23/2015 - 09:44

The International Day of Peace was on 21 September. Test your knowledge to see why so many companies and people came together for refugees around the world.

Thanks to all who raised their voice for peace!

09/23/2015 - 09:32
Climate Change

WFP's commitment to reducing emissions

At WFP, this has meant introducing energy efficient equipment and better systems in even the most remote locations, to reduce consumption of GHG-polluting fossil fuels. These savings also help WFP reduce operating costs, which are often highest in remote areas. 

[story|646056|645445]In Afghanistan’s rugged terrain and limited infrastructure, WFP relies heavily on aircraft, trucks, four-wheel drives and diesel generators to ensure food and staff are in place to deliver life-saving support to 3.5 million people.

Photo: WFP/Giulio D'Adamo

In 2008, when WFP began GHG reporting, Afghanistan operations consumed nearly two million litres of diesel fuel. Today, after retrofitting nearly 2,000 energy efficient security floodlights and office lights, installing solar power at remote sites, and using new software to improve fleet management, that figure has reduced by 25 percent and GHG emissions are down by 16 percent.

WFP Afghanistan is not alone. Globally, WFP reduced GHG emissions from operations by nearly 10 percent between 2008 and 2013.

[quote|“WFP has consistently acted within this network of over 60 UN organisations as a source of inspiration and advocacy." -Isabella Marras, coordinator of Sustainable UN]Isabella Marras, coordinator of Sustainable UN, the UNEP team overseeing the Climate Neutral UN initiative, praised WFP’s actions. “WFP has consistently acted within this network of over 60 UN organisations as a source of inspiration and advocacy,” she said. “Their commitment to innovative, cost-effective and smart solutions is helping to manage GHG emissions across hundreds of facilities and very complex logistics operations.”

The Climate Neutral programme, championed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, seeks to ensure the UN leads by example on climate change, embed a resource-conscious culture throughout the UN and deliver cost savings. It comprises three stages.

1)    Measuring in line with global standards

Since 2008, UN organizations have been reporting GHG emissions from their buildings, refrigeration systems, generators, vehicles, aircraft, commercial air travel and public transport. Participating agencies emit around 1.7 million tonnes of greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide-equivalent, or CO2e) per year. In 2014, WFP’s share was 166,356 tonnes of CO2e, the third largest behind Department of Peacekeeping Organizations and the World Bank Group.

WFP is one of the few to have footprinted global operations from the very first year, completing yearly footprints since and using the data to identify practical savings in field operations.

2)    Reducing “to the extent possible”

WFP prioritises cost-effective energy efficiencies that reduce costs and emissions simultaneously. Key achievements include:

  • More efficient trucks: A regional fleet of 218 new KAMAZ trucks, generously provided by the Russian Federation for emergencies in Asia and Africa, has improved fuel efficiency by around 30 percent.
  • Smart fleet management: a dedicated Fleet Management System monitors fuel and vehicle usage of 800 trucks and is WFP’s biggest single source of GHG savings. WFP’s 3000 light vehicles, ferrying staff between remote field locations, were added in 2012 and their fuel consumption has fallen 9 percent, due to re-routing, bundling of missions, better maintenance and replacing older vehicles. 
  • Driver training: more than 1700 WFP drivers – plus 700 from partner agencies – have completed a WFP-designed course in fuel-efficient, safe driving.
  • Optimizing Aviation: new software analyses individual routes and aircraft to select the right-sized, most fuel-efficient available aircraft, reducing costs, fuel and GHG emissions with every optimisation achieved.
  • Flying less: Remote delivery of training sessions and in-house meetings has saved at least 220 tonnes of CO2e and more than USD 400,000.
  • No-cost savings: Many offices have cut energy use by at least 20 percent through energy efficiency gains that pay for themselves in weeks or months. In Afghanistan, Nepal, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal staff have downsized equipment, replaced lighting and improved temperature controls and overnight shutdown practices. 
  • Cost-effective investment: WFP’s Energy Efficiency Programme, a UN first that collects an internal ‘tax’ on vehicles, has co-funded 30 projects globally that will save 2,375 tonnes of CO2e and USD 1.3 million per year. 
  • Greening HQ: WFP’s Rome headquarters, accounting for 7 percent of its total, has installed efficient condensing boilers and replaced 7,000 lights. The Italian government-funded “Landmark HQ” refurbishment is seeking Platinum certification under the LEED green building scheme by 2018.

3) Offsetting: emissions not yet avoided

WFP is offsetting emissions for the first time this year. In line with UN strategy, WFP purchases Clean Development Mechanism-certified carbon credits, purchased through the Adaptation Fund. Through this action, WFP recognises that humanitarian actions that save lives today still carry a climate cost tomorrow. Offsetting is one way that we can take responsibility for those impacts while striving to reduce them further.

WFP’s ongoing commitment to lowering climate impacts

World Food Programme Commits to Climate Neutrality

Photo: WFP/Dominik Heinrich

Attaining climate neutrality is just a beginning. Emissions must be offset yearly, so WFP remains committed to sustained cuts in emissions and – crucially – to supporting global efforts to find cost-effective alternatives to fossil fuels. Climate change is expected to create up to 20 percent more hungry people by 2050. At the COP 21 climate talks in December, WFP will continue supporting countries that are working to address the impacts of climate change on food security, while highlighting the importance of building climate resilience among the most food insecure and vulnerable people.

The World Food Programme (WFP) is one of ten United Nations (UN) agencies announcing ‘Climate Neutrality’ today. This comprehensive programme has been helping UN organisations take action against climate change by measuring, reducing and offsetting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from their operations.

09/23/2015 - 09:24

Amid early-morning cloud and fog that cloaked the Himalayan peaks above her, WFP staffer, Nimdoma Sherpa, was smiling as she carefully secured the tightly-wrapped flag between two bags of rice roped onto a mule’s back. 

Only when the experienced climber completed her two-day trek over steep ascents and rough trails to reach her destination would the flag be unfurled to proclaim the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger, part of an international effort to bring the 17 global goals to the world’s attention.

“I am very excited to take the flag representing Zero Hunger all the way into the Himalayas…and a bit nervous, too,” said Nimdoma, who climbed 2,000 meters to reach the isolated village of Kerauja in Gorkha district near the epicenter of the massive earthquake on 25 April that devastated the region. Alongside Nimdoma were a team of colleagues and the mule-train bearing rice and lentils as well as the Zero Hunger flag.

World Food Programme Sustainable Development Goal Zero Hunger in Nepal

The Zero Hunger goal envisions a world where all people have access to safe, healthy, nutritious food, eliminating stunting in children, and where there is zero loss or waste of food as well as sustainable food systems.

Village ‘proud’ to carry message of Zero Hunger

A large crowd of villagers cheered Nimdoma’s arrival in Kerauja and joined her in raising the toffee-coloured flag, decorated with the image of a steaming bowl of food, as both a declaration and reminder of the commitment by world leaders to the global goals. Said Chandra Bahadur Gurung, a villager who watched the flag-raising: “After all the hardship our village has suffered, we are proud to have been chosen to carry this message to the world.”

World Food Programme Sustainable Development Goal Zero Hunger in Nepal

Five months earlier, those villagers were mourning their dead and salvaging what they could from the rubble of their homes after the deadly quake. Nimdoma lost her 22-year-old cousin, newly returned from working abroad, in an enormous landslide triggered by the quake while her mother’s home in the Dolakha region was badly damaged. 

“This is really special….after the earthquake”

“This is really special,” Nimdoma said of the global goal venture. “I’ve been chosen to unfurl the flag symbolizing Zero Hunger in my country… after the earthquake that devastated our beautiful mountains. It is such an honour, and such a huge responsibility.”

The trek posed no serious physical challenges for Nimdoma, who received WFP school meals as a village child and grew to become the then-youngest woman to climb to the summit of Mount Everest at just 17, in 2008. She later joined the Seven Summits Women Team to scale the remaining six of the world’s tallest peaks, one for each of the seven continents.

Now, Nimdoma is applying her climbing skills to help WFP deliver food and other material to remote earthquake-stricken mountain villages, often using mule trains along trails cleared and re-opened by WFP working with local partners.

World Food Programme Sustainable Development Goal Zero Hunger in Nepal

“They are doing a great job, reconnecting these isolated communities to the world. It takes more time to walk, but these new trails are safe,” said Nimdoma. “The mules walk really fast, I had to struggle to keep up with them!” 

The flag-raising event in the Himalayas is one of 17 around the world – each representing one of the global goals to be endorsed by world leaders – as part of the Project Everyone campaign organized by British filmmaker Richard Curtis to bring the goals to the attention of seven billion people within seven days. 

The 17 global goals, with their deadline of 2030, present an historic opportunity to change the world for the better and while they are ambitious, with commitment and cooperation, they are achievable.

Trekker and the World Food Programme (WFP) officer, Nimdoma Sherpa, climbed to an earthquake-stricken mountain village to raise a flag and awareness of the Global Goal of Zero Hunger.

09/22/2015 - 16:46

It’s a winter morning but the sun is shining above Berano. Despite recurring drought, this village manages to keep producing crops because of its proximity to the Mandrare River. Maize, sweet potatoes, beans and green vegetables grow here in abundance. 

But the village is remote and the local roads are terrible. Transporting crops for sale from one village to another has for a long time been virtually impossible.   

Since August, Berano is part of a cash-for-assets programme enabling some 560 villagers to work together on rehabilitating nine kilometers of rural road connecting Berano to the neighboring village of Tanandava.     

“Fixing up the road will help facilitate the transport of crops, either by trucks or by cart, from our village to the nearest market," says single mother Soanahere (37) who works on the project. “When I get paid for the work I’ve done, I’ll be able to buy the food I need for my children.” 

Each participant is allocated 150,000 Malagasy ariary - approximately US$ 51 - for 50 days of labour. 

Germain (42) works on a similar project in the area. He is one of more than 800 people receiving daily family rations of maize and pulses for 60 days of work. The food provided by WFP is purchased locally from smallholder farmers.    

“When roads are good, this help strengthen the relationship between communities” says Germain. “But most importantly, crops can circulate more easily from one village to another. This means we get a greater variety of things to eat.”    

These programmes are being implemented by WFP in collaboration with CARE International, through a three-year food security project called AINA – this means ‘life’ in Malagasy. Through this European Union-funded project, WFP aims to provide food assistance to 68,000 people in the food-insecure southern regions of the Island.    

WFP’s food and cash-for-assets programmes help increase and diversify agricultural production and improve access to food for vulnerable communities in the island’s most disaster-prone and food-insecure areas.  



In drought-hit southern Madagascar, funding from the European Union enables the World Food Programme (WFP) and its partners to implement food- and cash-for-assets programmes that are designed to improve people’s access to food.