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02/09/2016 - 17:40
Cash and Vouchers

Mogadishu: In many ways, life has greatly improved in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, once known as the most dangerous city in the world. Shiny new buildings are popping up every week, and the old ones glisten with fresh coats of paint. Every weekend, families flock to the beach and youngsters pose for selfies to post on their social media accounts.

Retailers are embracing the system, because it brings them new customers who couldn’t afford to buy food from shops before. Photo:WFP/Laila Ali

And yet, in a stark reminder that not all is well, the city remains dotted with thousands of handmade shelters, pulled together from tree branches, tattered clothing and plastic sheets. These poorly constructed camps are home to internally displaced people (IDPs) who fled their home regions during the violent civil war. The camps are also home to the poorest of the urban poor, who have few economic opportunities and no social safety nets to cushion them when a disaster hits.  These people face hunger, forced evictions, and a rising cost of living. For them, life is as hard as it ever was.

A new kind of help

In Mogadishu, WFP has for many years provided daily cooked meals in most districts of the capital to directly support those in need. The hot-meal centres operate in a similar style to soup kitchens; anybody in need of food can go and receive meals. The centres serve approximately 80,000 people per day.

Now, with support from ECHO, WFP is able to provide a new form of cash-based assistance to the most vulnerable of the people who depend on the cooked meals centres – Mogadishu’s poorest residents. Several thousand people who regularly come to the centres – including female-headed households, families with children under age 5 and the elderly – are now receiving electronic cash-based transfers using smartcards, which function in a similar way to debit cards. They can take these cards to selected local retailers, where they shop for food items to complement the WFP hot meals.

For now, people are receiving a little over a dollar a day on the cards. That may not sound like a lot, but it makes an enormous difference to a family with little or no income.
[quote|"My family depends on the cooked meals centre, and being able to buy some of our food is a big help."]

Fadumo Mohammed shops at a retailer in Mogadishu using her smartcard.
Photo:WFP/Laila Ali

Fresh foods

Fadumo Mohammed, a mother of four young children, is one of the people receiving the cash-based transfers. Fadumo is now able to buy things like milk, vegetables and other fresh foods not distributed at the cooked meals centre.

[story|648884|647700]“I am very happy with the support I am getting. My family depends on the cooked meals centre, and [now] being able to buy some of our food is a big [help]. I would like to thank all those who made this possible,” she said, handing over her card to the shopkeeper, who inserts it into a point-of-sales device – provided by WFP – before totalling her bill. Fadumo authorises payment from her card through a fingerprint verification.

The fingerprint acts as Fadumo’s signature, adding a layer of security by protecting her entitlement and ensuring that only she or her children can use the card. This makes it less likely that someone might steal her card, as only the people who are registered on the card can use it.

More choices

Because of generous support from donors like ECHO, WFP is able to use more electronic cash-based transfers in Somalia than ever before to support vulnerable people in places where markets are functioning. WFP has established a country-wide network of retailers and is constantly adding more, so that vulnerable people receiving cash-based transfers can have a greater choice about where and when they shop.  

WFP closely monitors the shops to see that they continue stocking a wide range of healthy foods, and to be sure that they aren’t inflating their prices for people who use the cards. Retailers are embracing the system, because it brings them new customers who couldn’t afford to buy food from shops before.

Across Somalia, more than a million people are struggling to meet their basic food needs, particularly internally displaced people and the urban poor. With support from the European Union’s humanitarian aid and civil protection department (ECHO), WFP is now providing the most vulnerable people in Mogadishu with cash-based assistance so they can shop for the food they need. WFP is increasingly providing cash-based transfers in places where food is available in the markets, but lack of income prevents vulnerable families from accessing it.  

02/09/2016 - 17:00

Three years of drought

Marmont, located in the Center Department of Haiti, is the country’s only landlocked department and is among those that have suffered the harsh effects of the drought that has been afflicting Haiti for three consecutive years, now made worse by the El Niño phenomenon.    

[story|648963|648336]Agricultural production has dropped to as low as half of that recorded in a year without drought, and as the price of scarce commodities continues to rise, Haitians’ purchasing power has steadily declined. In a country where 75 percent of the population lives with less than $2 per day and where agriculture provides 50 percent of the jobs, drought has pushed people further into poverty and hunger.

Fully 1.5 million Haitians are severely food insecure and 3.6 million are food insecure, according to a recent survey conducted by the WFP, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Haiti’s National Food Security Coordination (CNSA). In some areas, up to 70% of the population is facing hunger. 

Cash for Assets in Haiti

Photo:WFP/Alejandro Chicheri 

Despite these worrisome conditions, an upbeat atmosphere prevails in the hills of Marmont, where WFP and GRASOL, a local NGO, have implemented a Cash for Assets programme focused on soil conservation.

Here, 700 people from the community have worked to combat the adverse effects the ongoing drought has been having on agriculture. Through the construction of dry walls and planting of fruit trees, teams of 35 workers each have toiled against soil erosion under the supervision of team leaders. 

Cash for Assets projects such as the Marmont soil-conservation plan allow participants to earn a steady salary to take home to their family for two months, while simultaneously helping their communities adapt to the changing environment.

Such projects contribute to long-term benefits for the environment and for livelihoods, with the ultimate goal of training communities to be better able to handle future natural disasters. 

“When Rolin speaks, the raucous teams quiet down”

Photo:WFP/Alejandro Chicheri 

In Marmont, team leaders have been supervised by Jean Noel Rolin, a wiry, charismatic man who has been a respected leader in his community for decades, and heads a farmers’ organization that has supported the project. 

When Rolin speaks, the raucous teams quiet down and settle in to listen carefully. Rolin is determined to correct the damage to his community and to the land from the long-running drought, including severe soil erosion that has in places made it very difficult to grow healthy crops. Indeed, harvests have been under average this year, and the usual crops of petit mil, corn, manioc, bananas and sugar cane have suffered damaging losses. 

Building Assets for the Long Term

After climbing to the top of the highest peak, Rolin stops and with a sweeping gesture indicates all of the dry walls that his workers have built over the past two months, emphasizing how important agriculture is for his community, and how valuable this WFP project has been for them. 

In just the first month, 428 linear meters of dry walls stretching across the hills were built, far exceeding the goal of 350 linear meters. Over 2,000 trees were planted as well. Speaking rapidly in Creole, Rolin talks of plans for the future, and asks WFP to return to his community with similar projects soon. “This project created jobs, people are working really hard, it makes them proud to be helping their community and working to preserve our fields.” 

“When the rain falls, we will once again flourish”

Photo:WFP/Alejandro Chicheri 

The energy and determination of Rolin and his workers in Marmont make it clear that they want to be prepared for the worst, but hope for the best: “Lé la pli a tonbe, n’ap boujonnen”, or, “when the rain falls, we will once again flourish.”

[story|644710]Given the ongoing drought conditions, exacerbated by El Niño, it is difficult to say when the much-needed rain will come, and when the people of Marmont will be able to harvest the fruits of their labours to rehabilitate the earth. Until then, they continue to work to preserve their land and face the drought, bending like the reeds in their song, but never giving up.

The spirited lyrics of the traditional work-song ring out over the hills, setting a steady rhythm to which stones are lifted, passed, and carefully placed as residents in the Haitian town of Marmont construct a series of dry stone walls running the length of the hills as far as the eye can see.

Under the bright sunlight, more and more people appear over the side of the mountain, taking a break from their day’s work to proudly display the results of their two-month-long labour, as part a World Food Programme (WFP) Cash for Assets project.

These walls will help to stop soil erosion, a result of overly dry land coupled with deforestation that has essentially stripped the soil of its ability to bear healthy crops to feed communities. This work also contributes to longer-tem soil preservation.

02/03/2016 - 14:54

Humanitarian needs in Ethiopia have tripled since early 2015 as severe drought in some regions, exacerbated by the strongest El Nino in decades, caused successive harvest failures and widespread livestock deaths.

Acute malnutrition has risen sharply, and one quarter of Ethiopia’s districts are now officially classified as facing a nutrition crisis. Out of 10.2 million people now requiring urgent humanitarian assistance, WFP is tasked with supporting the government in meeting the needs of 7.6 million people in 2016. 


Photo:WFP/Melese Awoke

Surviving on food assistance

Rahima Dadafe, a 23-year-old mother of four, is holding her youngest son, Nebiyu Jemal, age 1. She says the family is surviving on food assistance from the government, along with the special nutritious food from WFP to help baby Nebiyu recover from malnutrition. 

Photo:WFP/Challiss McDonough

“When the rain stopped raining, our crops failed and our livestock started dying because there was no grass for them to feed on. I had three cows. They all died. Now we are {living on} the assistance from the government.” she said.

Immediate support to prevent suffering

During their time in Ethiopia over the weekend, WFP’s Executive Director and the UN Secretary-General visited a drought-affected area a few hours from the capital.
Ban Ki Moon underlined the importance of the Government for its leadership in the drought response.

Photo:WFP/Petterik Wiggers

Earlier in the day, while attending a high level roundtable on the drought in Addis Ababa, the Secretary General stressed that a crisis of this scale “was too much for any Government”. “The international community must stand with people of Ethiopia, immediate support for Ethiopia will save lives and avoid preventable suffering. Immediate support will also safeguard the impressive development gains that Ethiopia has made over the past years and decades,” he said.

[quote|“We can avoid this crisis getting worse by meeting the needs of families today”.WFP’s Executive Director Ertharin Cousin]

Photo:WFP/Petterik Wiggers

UN WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin asked the international community to act before it is too late. “We have an opportunity to provide help but we do not have the resources”. 
“We can avoid this crisis to get worse by meeting the needs of families today”.

Vital food distributions at risk

To date WFP has received only 26 percent of the funds needed to reach 7.6 million people during the first six months of the year. Contributions are urgently needed now to avoid food distributions to come to a halt at the end of April which will cause a spike in malnutrition rates.


Ethiopia is in the grip of its worst drought in recent history. More than ten million people are in need of assistance according to the Government and humanitarian agencies. On Sunday 31 January, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Ertharin Cousin and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Ethiopia to see first-hand the consequences of the drought in one of the worst affected areas.

02/02/2016 - 12:31

Twenty-year-old Mariatu Kargbo is a mother of three children. She has come to the Sierra Leone Church Health Centre in Port Loko district, in the northern part of the country. Here she receives food assistance and maternal and child health services for herself and her 8-month-old child, Ibrahim.

Mariatu Kargbo benefits from free health care services, including food for her malnourished child at a WFP-supported supplementary feeding centre. Francis Boima/WFP

A nightmare called Ebola

Just a few months ago, while Ebola was still terrorising the people of Sierra Leone, this centre, like most others in the country, was abandoned by mothers. “The women here did not come to the health centre because they were afraid that if they took their children [there], they will get Ebola,” said Ernestine Wilson, the nurse in charge.

“Now the mothers are no longer afraid to come to the health centre to access services and to receive food,” she adds. “The food attracts them to come to the centres and every mother wants her child, malnourished or not, to be in the programme.”
[quote|"The food attracts them to come to the centres and every mother wants her child, malnourished or not, to be in the programme.”]

Photo: Francis Boima/WFP

Like many mothers, Mariatu carries the responsibility for caring for her three children all by herself. Support from programmes like these is vital for ensuring the health of Mariatu and her children. 

With limited resources derived from selling cooked food in her community, Kargbo admits that before, she did not have enough food for Ibrahim. As a result, he became severely malnourished and sick at the age of 6 months.

Focus on child malnutrition

[story|644953]After a month of treatment through the health centre’s Outpatient Therapeutic Programme, he was enrolled in the centre’s WFP-supported targeted supplementary feeding programme, designed to provide continued support for children and mothers with moderate acute malnutrition. Through this programme, children like Ibrahim receive rations of SuperCereal Plus, a fortified blended food enriched with micronutrients and specifically designed to meet the nutrition needs of moderately malnourished children.

“Ibrahim likes the food and it has helped him to gain weight and to be strong,” Kargbo proudly recalls. “I feel happy when I receive assistance from WFP, especially as I have no one else to support my children.”

The Sierra Leone Church Health Centre is one of 106 PHUs in Port Loko District where supplementary feeding programmes are being provided by WFP thanks to funding from the Government of Japan. Like many of these centres, Sierra Leone Church Health Centre provides health and nutrition education in addition to vaccination, deworming, growth monitoring and supplementary feeding activities.

Photo: Francis Boima/WFP

More than 26,000 children and about 17,000 mothers are benefiting from the supplementary feeding programme in five districts of Sierra Leone with the highest levels of food insecurity and malnutrition. The programme is vital to reducing undernutrition and attracting mothers to health centres again. At the same time, enriched foods provide vulnerable children the nutrients they need to thrive, helping to curb the inter-generational cycle of hunger.

To find out more about how WFP and its partners tackle malnutrition in Sierra Leone, click here.

Use of basic health services drastically reduced at the height of the Ebola outbreak. The population was hesitant to approach the health centres due to fears of either contacting Ebola or being labelled as someone affected by it. Getting mothers and children back to the health centres to access critical maternal and child health services has been challenging.

In partnership with the Government of Sierra Leone, The World Food Programme (WFP) is supporting the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) to increase uptake of services. Through the treatment of moderate acute malnutrition in children aged 6-59 months and pregnant and nursing mothers at Peripheral Health Units (PHUs), WFP is also helping to improve the nutrition status of vulnerable groups, reaching more than 43,000 children and mothers across the country.

01/29/2016 - 18:21

[quote|“I grew up in an Italian-American family where food was so central to our household, I couldn’t fathom that so many people were struggling with not having enough to eat”]

One student who has been using her voice to impact her community and beyond is Zoe Rae Rote. A senior at the University of Notre Dame, Zoe has been a volunteer with the school’s World Hunger Coalition since her freshman year. Now at the helm of the organization, Zoe first connected to the issue of hunger in high school after learning of Mary’s Meals, a program that sets up school feeding projects in some of the world's poorest communities, on a CNN special. Zoe quickly got to work and organized a local fundraiser to benefit the charity, which was responding to the famine in the Horn of Africa at the time.

“I grew up in an Italian-American family where food was so central to our household, I couldn’t fathom that so many people were struggling with not having enough to eat,” she says.

Today, Zoe and the 15 other volunteers who make up the World Hunger Coalition work tirelessly to meet needs in the local community and beyond. The club, first founded by Notre Dame University in 1974, raised over $18,000 for hunger organizations last semester alone through its signature Wednesday Lunch donation program.

Through the initiative, students sign up at the start of the semester to forgo a swipe into the school’s dining hall on Wednesdays. Nearly 700 students signed up for the program last semester – record numbers. The money saved by the dining hall by producing less food on Wednesdays is then pooled and donated to both local food banks and international charities.

World Hunger Coalition student volunteers

The World Hunger Coalition also operates an annual blood drive during the holidays. For every unit collected, the local Red Cross donates a turkey meal voucher, which in turn, the student gives to local food banks.  

[quote|“I’m very passionate about the link between education and nutrition. I know that hunger will always be a thread in my life”]

Zoe, who graduates this Spring and will hand over the reins to the incoming president, is confident that the organization will expand its impact by collaborating with additional partners and through more innovative fundraising programs.

Zoe will soon embark on a program to earn her Master’s in Education and plans on becoming a public school teacher. “I’m very passionate about the link between education and nutrition. I know that hunger will always be a thread in my life,” she says.

Join other students in the fight against hunger

Zoe plans to attend the upcoming Universities Fighting World Hunger Summit in February. If you are interested in connecting with other students like Zoe who are passionate about finding solutions to global hunger, register today here:  

The conference will feature well-known keynote speakers including WFP’s Deputy Executive Director Amir Abdulla and Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University (and former WFP executive) Catherine Bertini, panel events, interactive sessions, and breakout workshops with experts from a wide spectrum of fields, sectors, and backgrounds.

(As pictured in heading: Elisa Benitez, Jennifer Prosser, Zoe Rae Rote, Arianna Rominski, Jane Pangburn, Emily Vincent, and Flora Tang).

Next month, students, educators and academic leaders from across the U.S. will come together to amplify their voices in the global fight against hunger at the annual Universities Fighting World Hunger Summit. Over 250 anti-hunger advocates will convene in Columbia, Missouri, 26-27 Feb. to exchange ideas on ways to stamp out hunger around the globe.

01/29/2016 - 13:07
Food For Assets

More than 400,000 people are affected by severe food insecurity, according to a crop and food security mission, conducted jointly by Madagascar’s Ministry of Agriculture, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) in July 2015. 

For Delphine, a 43-year-old who lives in the village of Ambonaivo in Ambovombe district, times are tough. 

“We can hardly meet our family’s food needs,” she says. “It hasn’t been raining for months so we can’t grow anything.”

As a result of drought, households have had to sell some of their livestock, agricultural tools, cattle and other goods to buy food. They have turned to so-called ‘dearth food’ such as red cactus to survive.  

“During difficult times, we only have a meal in the evening, which obviously is far from enough,” says Delphine. 

Water is also difficult to source. In her village, people have to walk up to 12 km to a neighboring village to find water. 

“Normally, we need three buckets of water a day,” she says. “But one bucket costs 1,000 ariary (USD 0.33) and it’s impossible for me to pay for three buckets a day.” 

To help people like Delphine access water during times of drought, Ambonaivo has been selected to be part of a food-for-assets (FFA) programme funded by USAID’s Food For Peace and implemented by WFP and partner organisation, Kiomba. As part of the programme, community members are rehabilitating a rain catchment basin. They are provided with a family ration of maize and pulses in return for the work.

This basin construction activity is part of a three-month FFA programme benefiting 75,000 people in Androy and Anosy regions which are the most severely affected by drought.

Participants were chosen in coordination with a seed distribution programme, the Diversification for Nutrition and Enhanced Resilience (DiNER), implemented by Catholic Relief Services (CRS). Seed distributions take place in market places where the beneficiary communities are gathered. WFP distributes agricultural tool kits to the most vulnerable households to help improve their crops.

“Collaboration between CRS and WFP was critical for this operation," says WFP Deputy Country Director Fatimata Sidibe Sow. "WFP provides the urgently needed food assistance while CRS helps the communities prepare for the upcoming planting season. We're grateful for the support of USAID which brings smile and hope to drought-hit populations. They've been affected by three consecutive years of crop losses and have started adopting negative strategies to survive."

FFA activities create useful community infrastructures and reduce the likelihood of seeds provided at the DiNer fairs being eaten rather than planted. 

“It’s been explained to us that the basin will ensure water availability for five to six months,” says Delphine. “Maybe we’ll no longer need to walk kilometers just for one bucket of water."

The current El Niño event means that the already drought-hit southern region of Madagascar is receiving significantly reduced rainfall. The USAID donation will help prevent a further deterioration of communities’ food security situation and help strengthen resilience.   



The south of Madagascar is suffering from recurrent drought, resulting in crop loss and affecting households’ access to food. 

01/27/2016 - 17:27

Ertharin Cousin also told the UN Security Council on Wednesday (27 Jan) that WFP’s work in Syria was being disrupted because UN resolutions were not being met. 

“To prevent people from imminent starvation, we need the support and action of every Council Member and every Member State,” she said.

“Preventing mass starvation requires more than a four-town agreement.

“Preventing a humanitarian crisis requires unimpeded and sustained access for humanitarian organizations to bring immediate relief – including food – to all those in need inside Syria.

“Preventing a humanitarian crisis requires humanitarian pauses and unconditional, monitored ceasefires to allow food and other urgent assistance to be delivered to civilians, to support the necessary vaccinations and other health campaigns.

“Preventing a humanitarian crisis as well as a food security and nutrition crisis requires a cessation of attacks on civilian infrastructure.

“Preventing a humanitarian crisis requires freedom of movement for all civilians and the immediate lifting of all sieges by all parties.     

“This is the only way to end hunger and to treat malnutrition, child by child, adult-by-adult, town by town.”

Resolutions “not to impede or hinder” assistance had not been fully realized, said the Executive Director, with more than 4.6 million people living in areas that are besieged or hard to reach.

Obstacles to WFP’s work included numerous checkpoints, the presence of security forces within warehouses, and extensive administrative procedures.

“The time for fully and collectively realizing the resolutions is long overdue,” said the Executive Director. 

“Access must not be arbitrary. Access must not be ad hoc. Access must not be one-time.
Effective access must not require unreasonable approvals. Access must be reasonably safe, regular, transparent and accountable.”

The consequences of restricted access had become clear, said the Executive Director:

“Every day, we receive alarming reports of lack of food, of lack of water, of acute malnutrition, and of death. 

“Let us not allow populations in other locations to suffer the same fate as Madaya…if they are not already suffering.

“Let us not allow the populations in other locations to suffer the same fate as Madaya…if they are not already suffering.

“As I speak to you now, we estimate that there are 18 besieged areas and close to half a million people completely cut off from food and other crucial humanitarian assistance.

In many of these areas, people are running out of food or may have already run out of food. We simply do not know. It is just a matter of time before the brutal images we have witnessed these past few weeks hit our screens again.”

The Executive Director reassured the Security Council that despite the challenges, WFP would continue trying to provide its best service.

She added: “We will continue our steadfast efforts, exhausting every means at our disposal, reaching every child, woman and man in Syria where we can.

“Yet we cannot and do not perform alone. Of course we work with the other members of the UN Country teams and our 40 NGO team partners.

“Paulo Coelho has said: ‘The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.’

“Our responsibility is to ensure that the decisions and choices made in this chamber, become a reality on the ground.

“This is the only way we can save and protect people, and enable healing for Syria’s next generation.”

Find out more 



World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director says the United Nations must unite to help avoid further suffering for those worst affected by the conflict in Syria.

01/26/2016 - 03:45
School Meals

At Tbeng Primary School in Siem Reap, Cambodia, children line up to receive a hot breakfast. An 11-year old girl called Muon Malai is one of them. She says she loves learning, as she tucks into a dish of rice, fish, yellow split peas and vegetables. “I like to study, especially mathematics. I want to go to college some day and get a job,” she says. 

[quote|“I like to study, especially mathematics. I want to go to college some day and get a job.”]     

Muon Malai loves learning. Photo: WFP/Bushra Rahman

Helping children stay in school

Malai is one of 277,000 underprivileged children in highly food insecure parts of Cambodia currently receiving regular hot meals at school from the UN World Food Programme (WFP). These children are from the most marginalized and vulnerable communities, and they rely on this support to continue their primary education. The daily breakfast has been critical in assisting government efforts to improve access to primary education and increase enrolment, retention and graduation. Since the scheme began in 1999, primary enrolment has increased by more than 96 percent in Cambodia in areas where meals are provided.

Kids receiving breakfast before class. Photo: WFP/Bushra Rahman

“The WFP food helps the kids to stay alert and pay attention, retain more information and learn,” says Ms. Caem Saron, principal of Theng Primary School. “The delicious hot breakfast every morning is both an incentive for the children to come to school and an incentive for parents to send them – and this helps ensure they attend regularly. The food is better quality than they get at home as well. Most children in this area only get rice and vegetables at home – and a small amount of dried fish perhaps once a week.” 

Good food means better concentration in the classroom. Photo: WFP/Bushra Rahman

Tough choice - stay in school or support the family

At about 94.3 percent, net primary school enrolment is quite high for the region and has significantly improved in recent years. However, because of widespread poverty, especially in rural areas, many families in Cambodia have to choose between sending children to school and keeping them at home to support the family. Malai’s mother is a hardworking rice farmer, but the family also has the burden of taking care of other family members, including Malai’s disabled father. “She is a bright student. I am concerned that she would stop attending school if she didn’t get the scholarship support,” says Saron. 

School assembly. Photo: WFP/Bushra Rahman

Scholarships as an incentive

[publication|647444|642545] As an extra incentive for families to support their children’s education, WFP also provides a cash scholarship. Malai and 70,000 other children in Cambodia receive 20,000 riel (US$5) per month, or the equivalent amount in food, which is a significant amount in a country where close to a fifth of the population lives on less than US$1.25 per day. To receive the scholarship, children must attend school at least 80 percent of the time per month. . 

The government aims to establish, manage and fund a nationally owned school feeding programme by 2021. 

Widespread poverty in Cambodia, especially in rural areas, means many families have to choose between sending children to school or keeping them at home to support the family. Regular hot meals at school help increase enrolment, retention and graduation, meaning 11-year-old Muon Malai and many more like her can aim high. 

01/21/2016 - 12:41
Focus on Women

[video|648874]Nicole has to look after her children all by herself; her husband abandoned the family when day-to-day survival became harder and harder.

To support her family, she tries to do  household jobs, but this does not bring in enough money to feed her family.

“It is very difficult to have enough food to eat on a regular basis. I rely heavily on WFP’s assistance to eat, to have porridge for my baby,” she says.

Recently, Nicole fell ill and she couldn’t work. The children were forced to beg until Nicole got well enough to resume her work.

To show the extreme conditions in which she is living, Nicole shows her baby’s empty bowl of porridge, as a plea for more support. 

[quote|“It is very difficult to have enough food to eat on a regular basis. I rely heavily on WFP’s assistance to eat, to have porridge for my baby”]

Photo: WFP/Bruno Djoyo

Half the population of the Central African Republic faces hunger

The latest food security assessment in C.A.R. shows that half of the population – 2.5 million people – faces hunger. This marks a doubling in the number of hungry people over a one-year period. Three years of crisis have taken a huge toll. One in six people − more than half a million people − struggles with severe food insecurity, having to resort to extreme measures to get by such as begging, or selling what they own.

In December 2015, WFP provided food for nearly 400,000 people through general food distributions, cash-based transfers, nutrition support and school meals, and food-for-assets activities.

Photo: WFP/Adel Sarkozi

[donation-form|2016-wfp-car-webstory|2016-wfp-car-webstory|5268]WFP needs urgent support to continue to provide food and nutritional assistance to displaced and vulnerable communities as well as to support recovery efforts.

Right now, US$41 million is needed through the end of June, so WFP can respond to urgent needs both in the C.A.R. and in neighbouring countries hosting C.A.R. refugees. To date, WFP’s operation is only 45 percent funded.

Text by: Marie Paule Pagonendi, WFP CAR.

Nicole Sabiko, a young mom of 23 with four children, stepped into the new year the same way as she began the year before, and the one before that. Being displaced. Together with her children, she has been finding refuge at one of the many displaced people’s camps in Bangui, the capital of conflict-ravaged Central African Republic. How is she surviving?

01/20/2016 - 19:04

Farmer engagement is driven by multi-year commitments catalyzed through ‘patient’ buyer contracts. The pre-planting contracts specify minimum floor prices, timelines and quality standards so that farmers can plan beyond the farm gate.  

Increasing food security

[story|648840|648838]The platform will make it possible for farmers to plant, harvest and sell enough high-quality crops to boost their income and increase food security by facilitating their access to fair harvest contracts before planting begins, obtaining agricultural inputs to increase yields, and offering other forms of support from consortium members or other providers. 

This systemic change in markets will broaden the global supply base to meet increasing demand. WFP is leveraging its market knowledge, past experiences, global footprint and catalytic demand to help the platform reach its goal.   

The platform was introduced late last year and is now operating in three African markets. In Rwanda, 20,000 farmers have obtained contracts to sell a combined 8,000 metric tons (MT) of maize to a local buyer. In Tanzania, six local and regional buyers have joined WFP to contract 38,000 metric tons of maize and 5,000 metric tons of pigeon peas from 30,000 farmers who now have access to loans from local consortium member banks to expand production. In Zambia, three regional buyers have joined WFP to contract 17,000 metric tons of five different commodity crops from family farmers.

Engaging with over a million farmers

Over the next three years, the platform aims to engage 1.5 million farmers across 25 countries with US$750 million worth of contracts through a wide array of local, regional and international buyers.

The platform builds on WFP’s previous work through Purchase for Progress (P4P), which supported small-scale farmers to include the private sector, which provides extra demand, financing and inputs needed to bring efforts to scale and make the largest impact. Increasing food production and income opportunities is vital to building resilience and food security for the future. 


The Patient Procurement Platform, a new initiative by WFP and a consortium of end to end value chain actors, facilitates smallholder farmer participation across the entire value chain to raise their marketable surplus and hence livelihoods.