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WFP Partners Gather For Strategic Talks In Rome

As the world’s frontline agency in the battle against hunger, WFP counts on the assistance of thousands of non-governmental organisations and other partners to carry out its work in the field. On 29 October, the heads of more than 20 organisations will head to WFP headquarters in Rome to discuss how to strengthen those partnerships through new innovations and greater efficiency.

ROME—The heads of more than 20 humanitarian relief agencies and NGOs will gather in Rome this week to discuss how to strengthen their relationship with WFP during its Annual Partnership Consultation from 29-30 October.

“NGOs are extremely important for the work of WFP," said WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin. “In 2011, we collaborated with over 2,100 NGOs worldwide and about 30 partners from within the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Combined, they distributed nearly 1.9 million metric tons of food assistance—half of WFP’s total food distribution.”

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This year's WFP Partner Consultation is not open to the public, but you can follow the conversation on Twitter at #WFPartners.

A larger number of organisations have been invited to the meeting than ever before to tackle four main issues: cost-efficiency, risk-sharing, new tools and emergency preparedness and response.

"The need for co-operation is as great as ever," says Mohamed Ashmawey, CEO of Islamic Relief Worldwide. He says NGOs must "continuously exchange and share" expertise in this "rapidly evolving humanitarian climate."

Norwegian Refugee Council Secretary-General Elisabeth Rasmusson observes that “Strategic partnership is about sharing key objectives and making use of each other’s comparative advantages. That is why we welcome this year’s approach where NGOs are invited to present their views on challenges and take part in strategic discussions directly with WFP.”

In addition to Ashmawey and Rasmusson, other participants will include: Sam Worthington, president and CEO of Interaction; Dame Barbara Stocking, chief executive of Oxfam/Great Britain; and Hany El-Banna, president of The Humanitarian Forum.