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06/24/2016 - 13:18

Since the start of Purchase for Progress (P4P) initiative in 2009, WFP and its partners have worked with 1,600 smallholder farmers to strengthen their production and create opportunities for them to sell their products.

P4P in Sierra Leone has transformed the lives of smallholder farmers as they required new skills in agribusiness and post-harvest management, value addition and marketing.

Being part of the programme also enable farmers to secure loans from financial institutions more easily. Income from bulk sales is not only enabling farmers to support their families but also to expand or diversify their production.

The Japanese Bilateral Project (JBP) – known as “Community-based sustainable food security of smallholder rice producer farmers in target countries of West Africa in recovery and development phase” – is an initiative implemented in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

In Sierra Leone, WFP has partnered with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security (MAFFS) and non-governmental organizations to implement the project. 450 farming households, about 2,250 people, in the Port Loko district are part of the project.

Through JBP, farmers received improved rice seeds, tools and technical support for better irrigation so that they can rehabilitate 100 hectares of swampland.

Since 2014, the rice yields of farmers participating in the project increased from 1 metric ton of rice per hectare to almost 3 metric tons per hectare.  

WFP and its partners have recently brought representatives from thirty seven P4P supported farmer groups and eight farmers from JBP together to share experiences and best practices on identification of viable seeds, land selection and preparation, transplanting and use of fertilizers. The training sessions created a greater collaboration and increased dialogue between all involved.

“It opens up a whole new world of opportunities to learn what you have not been doing right and what can be done better,” said Isata Sesay, chairlady of Takeleneh Farmers’ Association

The District Agriculture Officer for Tonkolili region, John Larkoh described P4P as “a dream come true” adding that P4P has not only inspired confidence in the farmers to produce more but also of better quality.  

“Tonnage of rice sold to WFP through P4P has not only increased, but inputs from WFP in the form of milling machines, de-stoning machines, power tillers, stitching machines, bags, grants, and links with supply-side partners have helped to keep production costs down,” said Haja Sondu Marah from the Koinadugu Women’s Vegetable Farmers’ Cooperative.

Story by: Francis Boima, WFP Sierra Leone; Photos: WFP/Akinyemi Scott-Boyle  

The World Food Programme and its partners work with thousands of vulnerable smallholder farmers to improve and diversify their food production.

06/23/2016 - 07:47

Cox’s Bazar – Sukhiya’s luck seemed to have run out when her shack was torn away by Cyclone Roanu last May. Only a few months earlier she had been enrolled in a WFP programme that addresses the underlying drivers of food insecurity and undernutrition by equipping 9,600 women with the skills, knowledge, assets and confidence to change their lives.

With no home and additional expenses, would Sukhiya be able to continue the programme while keeping her family fed?

To ensure that she could, WFP included Sukhiya and her peers in the emergency food distribution following the cyclone, through which nearly 56,000 people received a 25kg ration of rice as immediate assistance. 

“The cyclone took away everything, just as I was about to revive my life,” says Sukhiya.

Sukhiya with two sons, cooking outside of their home.

Before joining the so-called Enhancing Food Security (EFS) programme, Sukhiya – who has three sons and whose husband left her last year – would regularly skip meals to be able to feed her children. Still, it was not enough to provide them with the nutrition they needed.

“We could go for days with little food. I had no money to buy groceries. The boys were often sick,” Sukhiya says.

That story is far from unheard of in Cox’s Bazar. In fact the district is one of the poorest and most vulnerable, with undernutrition and food insecurity at crisis levels, and poverty well above the national average. Natural disasters such as Cyclone Roanu are also a common threat, making it extremely challenging for poor families to build up assets over time.

Women waiting in line at a distribution center. They each received 25kg of rice as immediate relief.

In the EFS programme, Sukhiya and the other women receive a monthly cash allowance for almost two years to cover essential household consumption needs, along with entrepreneurship and life skills training as well as a one-off investment grant to start a small business.

“I use the monthly stipend to buy chickens and ducks and vegetables, some goes to medical costs and some I can save,” says Sukhiya. “Right now we’re learning about bookkeeping. Then I will start a business and for the first time have an income of my own,” she continues.

When the cyclone struck and blew away the roof of Sukhiya’s already tattered house, she took her children and sought refuge at a relative’s home. Her livestock and all the kitchen equipment was washed away by the floodwater so once she could move back, the rice from WFP helped to keep her going.

Participants in the Enhancing Food Security programme attending entrepreneurship training.

“Since I don’t have to pay for rice, I can both repair the house and continue buying nutritious food,” says Sukhiya. “I can go to the training without worrying about that now.”       

The monthly allowance has increased household resilience among poor women of Cox’s Bazar, just like Sukhiya, and the combination of this and the food relief after Cyclone Roanu meant that fewer households had to resort to eating less or making poorer dietary choices.

When Cyclone Roanu hit southern Bangladesh in May it not only endangered poor people’s immediate access to food, but also threatened to derail efforts to help particularly vulnerable women leave extreme poverty behind.


06/21/2016 - 15:28
School Meals

1.      Schools meals are fed to a fifth of the world’s children

Some form of school meals are implemented in almost every country in the world, involving 368 million children. This means one out of every five children on the planet. Programmes therefore have great potential to impact children’s health, local communities and countries’ futures.

2.      School meals benefit a child’s education, but lots of other things too

The primary outcome of successful school meals programmes was found to be an improvement in education, through increased enrolment, greater gender equality and better attendance and learning.

But school meals also contribute to health and nutrition, both through short-term benefits, such as the micronutrient fortification of school food in Ghana, as well as through longer-term gains such as helping children avoid obesity by learning to make healthier choices in Chile.

As well as providing direct benefits to school children themselves, programmes can have a spill-over effect and benefit others such as younger siblings and out-of-school children.

3.      There is no ‘one size fits all’ for a successful programme

The researchers analysed an immense diversity of approaches used by national programmes and found that context is key, with different approaches being suited to different country situations. For example, half of countries provide meals to all children while the other half provide them just to the neediest communities. While there is no one “best” model, there are many common good practices across the programmes.

Two girls in Mozambique enjoy WFP school meals
WFP school meals in Mozambique. Photo: WFP/Ricardo Franco

4.      Community involvement is key to success

The strongest and most sustainable programmes are those that respond to community needs, are locally owned, and incorporate some form of parental or community contribution, such as cash payments or donations of food or labour.

But coordination is important: programmes in Kenya and Brazil owe their success to the clear definition of the roles of the community and different sectors. The successful participation of the community in Chile and India is thanks to the detailed guidelines that help define the communities’ roles.

5.      Programmes are fluid and dynamic

The case studies showed that programmes can change rapidly and dramatically as they evolve over time. This means that they benefit from ongoing learning and adaptation. Countries should monitor their programmes in real time and provide feedback that can lead to evidence-based changes in policy.

6.      Local sourcing of food also benefits rural economies

Connecting programmes with local food production provides an important opportunity to increase the effectiveness of programmes as it benefits rural economies and potentially improves the nutritional quality of the food, according to the authors. It can support groups not traditionally reached with school meals, such as local farmers, and is extremely popular with governments. 

7.      Successful programmes have clear objectives

Comparisons of the case studies show that clearly defining objectives helps to guide countries as they make decisions about the design and nature of their programmes.

WFP school meals in Tanzania. Photo: WFP/Tala Louieh

8.      The private sector is a growing area of financial support

While in most countries funds for food purchase are provided by the central government, not all funding is public. Partnerships with the private sector are an emergent source of financial support. Researchers found however a strong political will to continue to finance school meals through national funds.

9.      More evaluation is needed

Authors were surprised to find a lack of information on the effects of school meals. Despite the number of programmes around the world, few evaluations have been undertaken about their impact on smallholder farmers, local development, eating habits, and food quality and safety. This is a lost opportunity for improving programme effectiveness.

10. The global network offers great untapped potential for mutual learning

A clear message that emerged from the case studies was the existence of a richness of expertise across countries. This provides a great opportunity for mutual learning and sharing of information. This learning has already begun to take place through regional networks and informational meetings and workshops, but there is potential for much more.

Find out more about WFP’s School Meals Programmes

A groundbreaking analysis of school meals across the world offers guidance to governments and development agencies on how to design and implement large-scale sustainable programmes.

The World Food Programme (WFP), along with the Imperial College London's Partnership for Child Development and the World Bank, analysed individual programmes from 14 countries then compared the case studies to identify good practices and lessons learned.

Authors of The Global School Feeding Sourcebook: Lessons from 14 Countries focused on Botswana, Brazil, Cape Verde, Chile, Côte d’Ivoire, Ecuador, Ghana, India, Kenya, Mali, Mexico, Namibia, Nigeria and South Africa, selected to provide diversity in geography, approach and development.

Here are 10 things they found out:  

06/21/2016 - 09:15
Responding to Emergencies

Guns, mud, mosquitoes and soaring heat punctuate the days in South Sudan. Pushing through it all, a fleet of WFP trucks snakes along the dusty roads.

This delivery is different from others though. The convoy has travelled only a couple of hours to reach isolated communities in need – instead of the normal week-long journey from the Juba base.

This success was possible thanks to innovative thinking. Known as the “fall-forward” approach, WFP’s logistics team came up with a plan – establishing remote hubs and pre-positioning food, trucks and equipment deep inside the jungles of South Sudan.

Reducing transit times

To make it happen, staff in the Country Office, Regional Bureau and Headquarters worked day and night to develop and implement the concept, which allowed for much shorter transit times from hubs with prepositioned food stocks, all the way down to the Final Distribution Points.

“I am proud of our team of heroes who make even the most impossible missions to be possible,” says Peter Schaller, Chief of Logistics in South Sudan. “They are committed to working against all odds, to the point of travelling with spades to dig out trucks stuck in one-metre deep mud just to deliver food.”

A few weeks ago, WFP South Sudan’s hard work was recognized on a global level when the team was awarded the prestigious 2016 International Best Transport Achievement Award for its fleet management project in South Sudan, given at the recent Annual Fleet Forum Conference in Dublin, Ireland.

Global Fleet Manager Nenad Grkovic (centre) receives the award on behalf of the South Sudan team. Photo: Fleet Forum

As part of its supply chain delivery strategy, WFP increased its transport capacity, set up new fleet hubs and opened main corridors, thereby reducing reliance on otherwise expensive forms of delivering assistance.

In February 2015, WFP acquired more than 100 new trucks and 16 trailers – workhorses ideal for even the toughest terrains. This has increased the capacity for overland deliveries and decreased dependency on air transport.

In South Sudan alone, WFP now manages and maintains over 130 operational trucks. Not only does WFP provide transport solutions, it also maintains more than 500 pieces of equipment, including providing daily services and repairs for over 80 generators. The services have since been extended to external clients, including UNDP and WHO, with over 70 and 50 light vehicles respectively.

Logistics hubs added

In an effort to reduce the load on Juba as the sole logistics hub, WFP established additional fleet hubs in Bor, Wau, Wunrok and Rumbek, spreading the trucking capacity across the country and allowing for relief supplies to be as close as possible to people in need. This has reduced the lead time, allowing WFP to easily take advantage of short windows of opportunities to perform last-leg deliveries.

Towards the end of 2015, road transport had come to a complete standstill on the western parts of the country due to insecurity. WFP started using a convoy system using both its own fleet trucks and commercial contractors merged at strategic points along the way. The WFP-owned trucks also led the convoys when implementing cross-line operations between Government and opposition-held areas around the country, resulting in the flow of both commercial and humanitarian cargo along key routes.

“This award is an excellent recognition of the ingenuity and amazing efforts of our staff to swiftly move food supplies where they are needed, in an extremely challenging environment,” said Joyce Luma, WFP Representative and Country Director in South Sudan.

“Our fleet teams have to deal with bad roads that get worse in the rainy season. They face harassment and violence. But despite all these issues they continue to risk their lives to bring urgently needed food to people facing hunger.”

Launched in 2012, the Best Transport Achievement Award is organized by Fleet Forum with sponsorship from shipping and logistics giant UPS, and recognizes the fleet manager and the organization that is an inspiring example for others. The award is presented to the humanitarian organization that most exemplifies excellence in one or more fleet-management areas, such as road safety, fleet safety, environmental impact and cost efficiency. The award-winning project must be replicable by others, and should demonstrate among other things professionalism, innovation and strong, tangible results.

“They are committed to working against all odds."

06/20/2016 - 09:02

Dzaleka Refugee Camp – Malawi’s primary hosting ground for refugees – has swelled to nearly 27,000 people as more and more cross the Malawian border in hope of escaping political insecurity in their home countries. Recent unrest across the border in Mozambique has resulted in an influx of about 8,000 Mozambicans seeking refuge in Malawi, with most of them in Mwanza and Neno districts.

Projections put the total refugee population in Malawi at nearly 57,000 by October 2016. WFP has been providing food assistance in Dzaleka for over two decades, and now also serves those from Mozambique. To continue providing food assistance, WFP urgently requires US$ 8.4 million through March 2017. Without new contributions, food stocks will be depleted by the end of November 2016.

Dzaleka is located 35 km north of the capital city of Lilongwe. While the majority of refugees in Dzaleka come from the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa regions – the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Burundi, Rwanda, Somalia and Ethiopia – there are also some refugees from Zambia and Zimbabwe.

WFP’s monthly rations – maize, pulses, fortified vegetable oil and fortified, blended food to prevent malnutrition – make up around 90 percent of food consumed by refugees. In Malawi, refugees have limited access to arable land or means of earning a living, rendering them largely dependent on humanitarian assistance.

“My entire family depends on the WFP ration because we cannot afford to buy anything else” says Echoia Asukulu (38), married with 10 children.

WFP’s food assistance plays a crucial role in meeting the basic food needs of refugees and helping prevent malnutrition. Since WFP began providing fortified, blended food and fortified vegetable oil, prevalence of anaemia among children under five years has decreased by 8 percent.

The severity of the shortfalls cannot be underscored: for some months in 2015, WFP was forced to reduce rations by half. Such cuts drive refugees to adopt negative coping mechanisms, including early marriage, so-called survival sex by women and girls, and school drop-outs.

New contributions will enable WFP to resume provisions of full food rations, ensuring the nutritional status of all refugees. WFP is also attempting to shift to a combination of cash-based transfers (CBTs) and in-kind food distributions at Dzaleka, though there is no secured funding for the provision of cash. CBTs give dignity, flexibility and choice to the recipient, as s/he can choose what food items are needed most. Given the diversity of cultural backgrounds represented at Dzaleka, this could be an important step forward in giving some autonomy to the camp’s population.


20 June is World Refugee Day. In Malawi, WFP’s monthly distributions cover about 90 percent of food consumed by refugees. Without new contributions, WFP faces critical shortfalls that will aggravate the already fragile food security situation of Dzaleka camp. 

06/20/2016 - 03:39
Cash and Vouchers

Tired of suffering, Paula and her two children fled the domestic violence, without food or work.

She heard about the assistance WFP offers to vulnerable refugees and Ecuadorian host communities in the Esmeraldas Province. Paula was able to sign up to receive cash-based transfers in the form of an electronic voucher, made possible by donors like USAID and ECHO. Now, Paula can use her voucher at a local store to buy food for herself and her children. 

With the help of the store administration, WFP ensures Paula purchases nutritious and fresh food. Her voucher is recharged monthly after she attends training sessions on topics such as nutrition, hygiene, and the prevention of gender-based violence.

In their small home, Paula and her children can now enjoy nutritious, home-cooked meals together. Thanks to her own strength and WFP’s assistance, Paula does not need to worry about having to escape anymore and is building a better life for herself and her children.

WFP has been active in Ecuador since 1964.

  • Assistance to Ecuador’s Colombian refugees began in 2003.
  • We aim to assist 184,000 Colombian refugees and vulnerable Ecuadorian families during 2015-2018.

For the latest news releases, stories, photos and publications from Ecuador visit the WFP Ecuador newsroom.

At the age of 15 Paula (not her real name) escaped the violence in Colombia and moved to the Province of Esmeraldas in Ecuador, in the hope of a better life. But, after a few years of living in Ecuador, she had to escape violence once again, this time from her boyfriend’s abuse.

06/17/2016 - 11:57

Mohammed Ali Haibel; 36; married with one child; Somalia 

"I came to Dzaleka when I was a teenager in 1996 after my parents died in Somalia. It’s been 20 years and I still haven’t left. I'm a grown man, an old man, and I am still here. I'm a community leader here – I represent Somalia. I stay positive by looking at my wife and daughter and by being social – I talk to everyone! I speak four languages – Swahili, Chichewa, Somali and English – so I can speak with everyone in the camp. I also sell garments, T-shirts and jeans. I'm thankful for my wife and daughter but things have been challenging. I was married previously to a woman from Burundi but she died in childbirth in 2012. It makes me sad to see that needy people are still suffering. As a community leader, I want to help. I prefer to see people who deserve to be assisted but needy people are still suffering." 


Clarice Jama; 35; married with four children; DRC. 

"I came to Dzaleka in 2003 from DRC. I came with my husband and one child but now we have four children. We left DRC because things became too dangerous. Three years ago, things started to become very challenging in the camp. Every day, I went to my neighbour begging her for food and money. I didn’t have other options. One day she offered to give me a loan because she was tired of seeing me begging all the time. She gave me 50,000 Kwacha (US$70) so I could start a business. Now I sell clothes. I don't think we will ever return to Congo even though life in the camp is hard. There are new arrivals coming from DRC and the news is not good. We wouldn’t survive without the food we get from WFP."


Ndayambaj Mohammed and his wife, Jamira; both 45; four children; Rwanda

" I (Ndayambaj) left Rwanda in 2001 after the genocide. I left without my wife and didn’t see her for 11 years. Then, in 2012, someone in Dzaleka told me my wife and children were in Malawi. They came to Dzaleka and we have been together again since 2012. Here in Dzaleka I am a farmer. I bought a small plot of land and grow maize, beans and tomatoes but I have to sell the tomatoes for money. There are two big challenges living in Dzaleka. We don't have access to good healthcare. When my children get sick, I do not know what to do. There is no medicine. We also have not be granted refugee status – we are still classified as asylum seekers. This doesn't make sense. We've been here for 10 years and still are not entitled to the same services that refugees are."


Etando Tobongye; 26; married with four children; DRC

"I came to Dzaleka in 2015 from DRC. I left with my four children and husband because of security problems. I will not go back to DRC but life here is hard. I don't have any work opportunities here, so it's hard to get money. My only food comes from WFP. It's very difficult to get fuel to cook food – charcoal is very expensive. A large bag is 7,000 Kwacha (US$10). How will I get that kind of money?"


Sabafu Gilbert; 18; single with no children; Rwanda

"I came to Dzaleka in April 2014 from Rwanda because of political insecurity. My life at the camp is boring. I don’t do anything and I am lonely. My mother went to Lilongwe some months ago and I have not seen her since. One day, I want to have an occupation that I love – one that could get me far in life. I want an education. I want to become a businessman."


Stanislas Nshimirimana; 37; married with three children; Rwanda (but born to Burundian parents)

"I've been a refugee my whole life. My parents fled Burundi in 1972 and went to Rwanda, so I was born in Rwanda. Then in 1990, insecurity started in Rwanda and my brother, who was five, was killed. After he died, we fled to Tanzania. We had to keep moving because of security problems with the Burundian Government. Finally, in 2005, we came to Dzaleka, where I'm a shop keeper." 

WFP has been providing food assistance at Dzaleka Refugee Camp – Malawi’s primary official location for refugees – for over two decades. The camp now hosts more than 26,000 people, most of whom are from the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa regions. Recently, unrest in neighbouring Mozambique has resulted in an influx of people – more than 7,000 – seeking refuge in Malawi. WFP is also providing food assistance to this vulnerable group.

WFP’s monthly distributions - of maize, pulses, fortified vegetable oil and fortified,blended food - make up around 90 percent of food consumed by refugees. WFP’s food assistance plays a crucial role in meeting the basic food needs of refugees and helping prevent malnutrition.

To continue providing food assistance, WFP urgently requires US$8.4 million through May 2017. Without new contributions, food stocks will entirely be depleted by the end of November 2016. 

06/16/2016 - 16:53
Responding to Emergencies

Mustafa Ramadan 

Mustafa Ramadan fled Syria in 2014 after a bomb exploded near his house. It was a close call but luckily his wife and two of his children escaped the bombing. Due to intense shelling, he had to flee the house immediately and could not wait for his eldest sons to join. He has not seen them since. Today he lives with his wife and three of his children in Zaatari camp where he earns a living by renting out his donkey for US$4 per day.   


“Ramadan for me means having all my children around the Iftar table. Every year I hope it would be the year I spend Ramadan in Syria with the rest of my family.” 
“I’ve been trying my best to stay strong for the rest of the family. Saving up and buying a donkey to earn some money was a way for me to show my family that there is always hope and that there is no excuse to stand by and wait for things to change. Eleven days ago my donkey gave birth. Now I have two donkeys. This is what hope does. It breeds more hope.  

“I still feel like I failed as a father, I should have not left without my sons and now I don’t know if I will ever see them again.” 

Odai Shaabeen

Odai Shaabeen is a 16-year-old from Dara’a, Syria. His family was forced to leave their hometown in 2013 to escape violence in their village.  Today, he lives in Zaatari camp and makes some money to support his family making and selling pastries in one of 12 bakery shops that were set up in the camp. He had to drop out of school to help his family out.

“Ramadan used to be my favourite time of the year. I had a huge extended family, so each day we had Iftar at a different house. Now, we are a lot fewer. A lot has changed.

“I horribly miss my grandmother’s mlaihy*; I can still taste it even though I haven’t had it in over three years.” 
 (*Mlaihy is a traditional southern Syrian dish that consists of chicken or meat served on a bed of bulgur with a yoghurt stew on the side.)

Hussein Al Rasheed 

Hussein Al Rasheed, 53, fled eastern Ghouta to Jordan in 2014 with his family of five. Three months ago, he lost his 21-year-old daughter a few days after she gave birth to a baby girl due to childbirth-related complications. 

 “This will be the first Ramadan I spend without my daughter. Her name was Tamam. She was the light of my life. I just pray that God will give me and my family the strength to deal with our loss. 

“I have always been a man of faith. It kept me and my family going on for those past years. The only thing that consoles me is the thought that every day that passes is a day closer to the day I will see her again. I wish her last few years were different. I wish I could’ve buried her back home, I wish I could promise to provide her daughter Hajar with the life her mother would have wanted her to live and the circumstances she would have wanted to raise her in. But I can’t and it breaks my heart.” 

The holy month of Ramadan is when families come together around one table at the same time every day for 30 days. But for many Syrians, Ramadan is not the big feast it used to be; it is a reminder of what they lost, what they long for and what they hope they will one day have again. In Zaatari Camp, where about 80,000 people live, big family gatherings around the “Iftar” table as they break the day-long fast is now a distant memory.

WFP is providing food assistance to more than half a million Syrians in Jordan through its innovative e-voucher (or e-cards) programme.

As we remember refugees around the globe on World Refugee Day on Monday 20 June, we remember the plight of hundreds of thousands of Syrians who have left behind a whole life and family member they do not know when or if they will ever see again. 

06/14/2016 - 14:17

The goal of sustained inter-faith action to help achieve Zero Hunger gathered critical momentum on Monday (13 June) as representatives from a range of faith-inspired NGOs and faith communities gathered at the World Food Programme’s headquarters in Rome. 

Invited by WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin to join a dialogue with the organization’s membership, participants stressed the potential that faith-based communities have for driving forward the Zero Hunger agenda at a local level all around the world.

“This is a historic day,” said discussion moderator Josh Dubois, former head of the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships under US President Barack Obama. Noting that it was the first time WFP had gathered its faith-based partners together in this way, he said faith communities had several qualities which could drive forward efforts to achieve Zero Hunger, among them “moral imagination” and “practical capacity”.

Serious need to engage

“There needs to be a serious conversation on engaging with local faith-based groups,” said Kevin Jenkins, CEO of World Vision. “I feel that faith-based groups have been massively underutilized in the past. We need to engage and see where they fit in best, where they can be most helpful.”

Several participants highlighted that religious groups had always been engaged in humanitarian and development work, and striking out for a goal as ambitious as Zero Hunger made little sense without them.

“When crisis hits, it’s always the church, the synagogue, the mosque that people go to for help,” said Mohamed Ashmawey, former CEO of Islamic Relief Worldwide. He added that local religious communities could play an important role in a sustained, worldwide effort to end hunger.

“These are the oldest social service providers in the world and they have always been the first responders in emergencies,” said Dr Azza Karam, chair of the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Faith-Based Organizations.

Seeking more understanding

She urged WFP and the UN to seek a better understanding of how faith-based groups carry out their critical social service work so as to enable better collaboration in the future.

David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World and the Alliance to End Hunger, agreed that there needed to be learning, both on the UN side and on the side of religious groups involved in humanitarian and development work.

“It really seems feasible to finally end hunger by 2030. But it requires all of us to change: religious communities, governments, WFP – all of us,” he said. “And we religious communities need to be stronger in our advocacy with governments.”

Dr Gunisha Kaur, Director of the Global Health Initiative at the Weill Cornell Medical College, said:  “It’s only by breaking with the normal approaches that we can hope to achieve the goal of Zero Hunger.” She said that by embarking on a “multi-dimensional” approach in which faith-based groups would play their part to the full, the world could “double the potential impact” of efforts to achieve Zero Hunger.

Common sense of urgency

Several speakers voiced their moral indignation that hunger still existed in a world which had been able to send people to the moon. There was also a common sense of urgency. 

“Let’s remember that prayer is a preparation for action,” said Swami Agnivesh, social activist and member of the board of the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue. “We should take hunger as a structural form of violence. This is the real terrorism. Until we have this perspective, we can’t solve this problem.”

The host of the event, WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin, paid tribute to the “concrete actions” of faith-inspired communities in many remote and difficult environments. This, she said, made them natural partners for WFP.

She also pointed to the potential of faith communities to win hearts and minds: “Religious leaders and communities offer enormous potential to galvanise global political will, catalyse local action and achieve lasting change in the lives of vulnerable people. By working together, we will broaden and strengthen our collective reach.”

“There needs to be a serious conversation on engaging with local faith-based groups.” 

06/14/2016 - 14:06

Serves 6

Looking for more recipes? Visit our FamilyChef page

1) Bring 2 cups (500 ml) of water to boil in a large pot.

2) Rinse the rice under running water and add to the pot.

3) Turn down to heat to medium and cover. Simmer until the rice is half-cooked (about 10 to 20 minutes).

4) Add the milk, stirring to incorporate.

5) Reduce heat to low and cook until the rice is tender.

6) Add the vanilla and sugar and stir for 5 minutes.

7) Divide among the 6 small bowls, sprinkle with coconut flakes (if using) and refrigerate. Serve cold.

For more recipes visit our FamilyChef page

Welcome to FamilyChef, the recipe series of the World Food Programme (WFP). Explore the culinary treasures of refugees who take part in WFP's cash and vouchers programmes, initiatives that allows individuals to buy the food they need to cook their traditional dishes.