Sheila Sisulu, Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), arrived in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, late Wednesday evening on a two-day mission to promote new WFP strategies to tackle the root causes of hunger and poverty.
Ms. Sisulu, who is scheduled to meet representatives from the Government of Ethiopia, the African Union Commission and the Economic Commission for Africa, will discuss amongst other things, solutions to fostering long-term food security in Ethiopia, such as supporting farmers in food procurement and market development initiatives.
Second largest operation
“Ethiopia is WFP’s second largest operation in Africa, where every year on average, WFP assists some four million needy and food vulnerable men, women and children”, Sisulu remarked on arriving in Addis Ababa.
“I am keen to meet with WFP’s partners in the country, to observe our work at close quarters and to see how we can work together to find answers to hunger, malnutrition and poverty. I’m also eager to discuss contingency measures to adapt to global climate change and other emerging challenges. There is a lot to do, but I do believe that our humanitarian objectives are achievable.”
Amongst other dignitaries, Ms. Sisulu is expected to meet with the Deputy Prime Minister, Addisu Legesse, Abdoulie Janneh, Under Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa and African Union Commissioners for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Trade and Industry.
Ms. Sheila Sisulu was appointed WFP Deputy Executive Director in February 2003 with special responsibility for overseeing WFP’s Policy and External Affairs Department.
In January 2008, Ms. Sisulu was made Deputy Executive Director for Hunger Solutions in the Office of the Executive Director in WFP’s Rome headquarters.
Prior to joining WFP, Sisulu was South Africa’s Ambassador to the United States of America. She also has twenty-five years experience in South African government and politics, and was closely involved with the radical opposition to the former apartheid system.
Ms. Sisulu will leave Ethiopia on Friday.
Chronic food insecurity
In Ethiopia, WFP’s second largest operation in Africa, the agency assists households facing chronic food insecurity and affected by natural disasters, refugees, pregnant and nursing mothers, school children and individuals infected or infected by HIV-AIDS.
WFP also helps communities through land rehabilitation programmes, and plays a leading role in capacity development initiatives.