Sign up today to join our online community, receive email alerts, and make a difference!
04/24/2016 - 16:12

Sushmita is a daily wage worker. With a child to look after and no family support, it’s not easy for her to put food on the table and cover other expenses.
[quote|"If I can get basic food at subsidised rates, I will be able to save some money."]

​Photo:WFP/Aditya Arya 

Sushmita qualifies for subsidized grain from the Indian government’s Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) – the world’s largest such programme. It aims to reach 800 million people, or two-thirds of India’s population.

“If I can get basic food at subsidised rates, I will be able to save some money. The savings will take care of my other expenses like medical bills,” Sushmita says.

A mammoth task

Forty million people live in Odisha, where the Government is working to modernise the TPDS in line with India’s 2013 National Food Security Act. The first major step in the modernisation was an overhaul of the beneficiary registration system with biometric identification, culminating in the introduction of new, bar-coded ration cards for some 30 million people. The new registration campaign was a mammoth task.

​Photo:WFP/Aditya Arya 

A public awareness campaign explained the procedure. All citizens could file applications. These went into a digital database which filtered out ineligible applicants. Field verifications took place. The updated list was then published for public scrutiny before being finalized. It was the first revision of the registration system in 20 years, and saw many ‘ghost’ and bogus cards eliminated from the list.

The new, bar-coded ration cards were then distributed to 8 million households - the eldest woman in every household was registered as the cardholder.

Convenience and transparency

The new cards enable families to collect their monthly entitlements of rice, wheat and millet from any of the 28,000 Fair Price Shops in the state. New electronic-Point of Sale (e-POS) devices are designed to make the process even more transparent: they record all transactions and authenticate biometric credentials.

Photo:WFP/Aditya Arya 

Global best practice

[video|649018] “WFP drew on its own institutional knowledge of running food distribution in more than 70 countries, many of them in extremely complex operating environments. We also commissioned research from local experts to identify best practices,” said Dr. Hameed Nuru, WFP India Country Director. “But WFP has so much to learn in India as well.

WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian organisation and globally we provide food to 80 million people per year – but the Government of India aims to reach ten times that number through the TPDS.”

Click play to watch a short film on WFP’s support in the transformation of TPDS in Odisha. 


In India, a WFP-supported efficiency drive is bringing bar-coded ration cards to the world’s largest food distribution programme.
With a third of its people living in poverty, the state of Odisha – formerly known as Orissa – is among India’s worst performers on most measures of social wellbeing. This makes it a good testing ground for reforms to India’s vast food distribution system. WFP is proud to support this modernization process.

04/22/2016 - 14:20

1) Why does WFP care about climate change?

The World Food Programme aims to eradicate hunger in our lifetime, a bold aim that is manifested in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is at the centre of Agenda 2030.

This vision cannot be achieved without urgent and ambitious action to address climate change. WFP’s own work with the UK Met Office, to project vulnerability to food insecurity under different climate change scenarios, illustrates both the strong need for large-scale investments in adaptation and for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order to end hunger by 2030 and beyond.

2) How does climate change drive hunger?

Each year between 80 and 90 percent of natural disasters are climate-related, primarily floods, storms and droughts. These disasters destroy assets, land, livestock, crops and food supplies, and make it harder for people to access markets and food networks.

Climate disasters also affect water access and quality, care practices, and access to healthy diets, further affecting hunger and malnutrition. Climate change will make this situation worse.

According to the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), climate change could increase the risk of hunger and malnutrition by up to 20 percent by 2050. Infographic: How climate change drives hunger.

3) How much of WFP’s work is climate-related? 

Helping countries reduce disaster risk and adapt and build resilience to climate change is core to WFP’s work:

•    In the last decade, almost half of WFP emergency and recovery operations responded to, and helped people recover from, climate-related disasters, with a budget of US$23 billion. WFP responded to climate disasters in 20 countries more than 5 times. 

•    In the last five years, 40 percent of WFP’s operations included activities to reduce disaster risk, build resilience or help people adapt to climate change. The majority of these activities took place within emergency operations and protracted relief and recovery operations.

•    In 2014, WFP reached 80 million people with food assistance in 82 countries. 12.7 million people received WFP food as an incentive to build assets that reduce the risk of climate disasters and build resilience over time, helping them break out of a cycle of chronic vulnerability

4) What is WFP doing to address climate change?

•    WFP’s analysis work helps governments and communities to understand the links between food security and climate risks, the impact of climate change on food security and nutrition, and to identify the most vulnerable communities and the policy and action needed to build their resilience.

•    WFP supports local communities, national governments and regional institutions to develop food-assistance programmes that build resilience and reduce hunger. 

•    WFP is a leader in climate-resilience innovations to help the most vulnerable people diversify their livelihoods, protect assets, incomes and crops with insurance and savings, improve access to markets, and help informed decision-making with better climate forecasts.

•    WFP’s climate policy work includes improving climate risk analyses to better understand the impact of climate change on food security for better policies and programmes, sharing experiences in innovative climate risk management and adaptation programmes to support replication, and engaging in the UNFCCC process on adaptation, loss and damage, climate finance, and food security and agriculture.

5) Is WFP offering new solutions?

WFP is a leading innovator in climate resilience for food security. Here are some examples:

•    Linking climate change adaptation and resilience to safety nets through the R4 Rural Resilience Initiative, a comprehensive risk management scheme. R4 has broken new ground in the field of rural risk management by enabling the poorest farmers to pay for crop insurance with their own labour.

•    Forecast-based financing. FoodSECuRE is a tool that triggers funds before climate disasters occur, allowing WFP to scale-up nutrition programming and disaster risk reduction activities so that people are more resilient and prepared if a forecasted crisis hits.  FoodSECuRE also ensures funds are available during the emergency response and post-disaster, because only through multi-year funding can we build long-term resilience. 

•    Climate services. WFP is one of the few organizations helping smallholder farmers access and co-produce relevant and easy-to-understand climate, weather and agricultural information, so that they are able to take better decisions to manage impending droughts and floods. In Malawi and Tanzania, WFP is reaching farmers through radio programmes, mobile phone (SMS and audio) and training of agricultural extension workers, on how to interpret and communicate climate information to rural audiences.

•    Early warning. WFP and Germany are collaborating on a project in five countries that not only helps governments to improve their climate-risk analysis and develop early warning systems, but also links these tools to their disaster preparedness procedures.

6) Is WFP making a difference?

[story|648336]WFP innovations are helping build the resilience of vulnerable households to climate risks. In 2015, the R4 Rural Resilience Initiative reached almost 200,000 people across Ethiopia, Senegal, Malawi and Zambia. R4 provided 2.2 million USD in micro insurance protection, through insurance-for-assets, to these farmers, while supporting them to reduce their exposure to climate disasters and improve their livelihoods.   

WFP is also expanding its reach with climate services, providing almost 10,000 people in Malawi and Tanzania with downscaled climate forecasts and advisories that can help them make better livelihoods decisions and prepare for potential climate disasters. 

Through FoodSECuRE, which was fast-tracked in 2015 to address the potential impacts of El Niño, 1,000 households in Zimbabwe and Guatemala received anticipatory support to build their resilience ahead of the peak of the drought. 

WFP is implementing climate change adaptation projects in Ecuador, Egypt, Mauritania and Sri Lanka, helping more than 750,000 people adapt to climate change and build resilient food security systems. Specific activities include capacity building, livelihood diversification and increasing adaptive capacity through creation of physical assets. 

7) What is the Paris Agreement?

[story|649044]The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) governing greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance from 2020 onwards. The agreement was negotiated during the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP 21) in Paris, and adopted by consensus on 12 December 2015 by 195 countries. The ratifying ceremony takes place on 22 April.

Countries committed to lowering emissions to a level that limits global warming to well below 2°, and agreed to review their progress every five years. Countries also set a minimum yearly target of USD 100 billion in climate finance for developing countries by 2020.  

Donors committed pledges to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the newest and largest climate change fund under the UNFCCC which plans to invest a total of USD 2.5 billion in both mitigation and adaptation projects by the end of 2016.

WFP was accredited as Multilateral Implementing Entity (MIE) of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in March 2016 for micro-size projects (USD 10 million) with low environmental and social risk level.

8) What does the climate deal mean for WFP?

The Paris Agreement represents a major step forward in the global effort to tackle climate change and end hunger. At the centre of the agreement is the importance of achieving food security and eradicating hunger and poverty.

The Paris Agreement will shape WFP's work in the years to come, in areas ranging from food security and nutrition, to emergency preparedness, risk management and climate adaptation programmes. While the agreement was an unprecedented success, massive investment and action is now needed to help people build their resilience to climate shocks, become food secure and to thrive under a changing climate. 

9) What happens next?

To support the implementation of the Paris Agreement, WFP, together with communities, partners and governments, will be taking forward its innovative efforts and many others to translate the ambition of Paris into action to eradicate hunger in communities around the world.  

This includes helping governments to develop and implement national adaptation plans, such as through climate analyses and best practices that address food security concerns, in exploring tools that provide innovative, flexible funding to reduce the impacts of climate disasters on communities, and scaling up activities that link social protection and adaptation for long-term climate resilience.

Read more about WFP and climate change.


The Paris Agreement has been signed on April 22 by global leaders. The valubale text, reached at COP 21 in December, set an unprecedented standard in addressing the causes and impact of climate change. Now it needs to be translated into urgent and ambitious investment and action. In this quick guide, we explain the World Food Programme’s work to build the resilience of vulnerable people to climate change, and what the Paris Agreement means for our goal of ending hunger by 2030. 

04/21/2016 - 15:13

Susy Rincones was relaxing in her hammock on Saturday evening (16 April) in Muisne town, Ecuador, when she began to feel the ground trembling. 


Photo: Josep Vecino / Anadolu Agency

At least 400 people died in the quake, with thousands of others left in desperate need of assistance. Here Susy, who works in the World Food Programme office in Esmeraldas, describes the terrifying moments when she feared for her life – and how she is now focusing on helping others affected by the quake. 

“The word I would use to describe how I feel is vulnerable. 

I thought my house could catch on fire, a flood, but never imagined that it would fall before my eyes.

There were two earthquakes that night. The strongest was around 7pm. I was relaxing in my hammock that I have strung up between an orange and guava tree. As night fell and the mosquitoes came out, I planned to head inside, watch some TV and make a snack. 

A feeling of helplessness

The shorts that I had on that night had a few buttons, and when the tremors started I wanted to run. But my shorts got caught in the hammock. I couldn’t stand, I was stuck. The branches of the trees rustled with the movement of the earthquake, and I felt helpless, unable to move. I did not want a branch to fall and kill me. 

[quote|"The branches of the trees rustled with the movement of the earthquake, and I felt helpless, unable to move"]

Photo: WFP/Mirna Hinostroza

When I was finally able to break free, I ran into an open space, and it was there I stopped screaming. I was in front of my house. It was so frustrating, because of the aftershocks, the house started to fall in front of my eyes! I was deeply saddened. I could have been inside and could have died. The wall fell on my bed where I would have been at that time. 

My house is about 25 meters from the main street, from which direction I saw two young women coming towards me between tremors. They stopped under a structure that could have fallen. I hastily removed them and did my best to calm them down. In that moment I couldn’t think about myself.  

When I returned to my house, I didn’t understand what was going on. I was in shock. Only after a few minutes did I understand what had happened. When I went to find my husband and was in the street, I noticed that other houses had fallen. He was at the store, but I couldn’t find him. I thought he was probably dead. Thank goodness he was safe and sound. 

Then came the aftershocks 

The night of the earthquake we removed a mattress from what was left of my house and slept under a tree. There were so many aftershocks that we feared debris would fall on us.  

[quote|"Everything was dark, fortunately there was a large moon, providing us with enough light."] 

Debris lies across Susy's bed after her home was destryoed in Saturday's earthquake. Photo:WFP/Susana Rincones

Power was out and we couldn’t sleep. Everything was dark, fortunately there was a large moon, providing us with enough light. The following day we were able to truly comprehend the extent of the damage – we had lost nearly everything. That night we traveled to Esmeraldas, to my mom’s house.

Now that I am part of the emergency, I see the suffering and loss of life caused by this earthquake. I don’t want to think about me, what I will do nor where I will live. I don’t want to think about the fact that I don’t have a home.”

WFP Convoy Brings Food

WFP has sent a convoy with food assistance for some 8,000 people severely affected by the earthquake, at the request of the Ecuador government. 


Photo:WFP/Alejandro Chicheri

Emergency food assistance kits were already available, as they formed part of disaster preparedness measures taken as the region braced itself for the impact of El Niño.

“This first delivery of food assistance will make a tremendous difference in the lives of people who are overcoming such hardship,” said Kyungnan Park, WFP Representative in Ecuador. 

Visit the Ecuador Newsroom for the latest news on the emergency

One survivor of Ecuador’s earthquake describes the terrifying moment when the ground began to tremble – and how she watched helpless as her home collapsed before her.

04/19/2016 - 17:15

As a result of a poor harvest in 2015 and current widespread dry spells associated with the global El Niño weather phenomenon, malnutrition rates have surged across Malawi. In the past three months, there has been a 100 percent increase in reported child malnutrition cases.

Nkhoma Mission Hospital, in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe, has treated a growing number of these cases. Mother Dorothy Laston brought her daughter, 21-month-old Leticia, to the clinic in January after she began showing signs of malnutrition, a life-threatening condition if not treated.

Because of her severe condition, Leticia was immediately admitted to the outpatient therapeutic feeding programme. With this life-saving treatment, Leticia began to improve; her condition was reclassified from ‘severe’ to ‘moderate’ and in February she was transferred to the centre’s supplementary feeding programme to ensure she continued to recover.

"Things changed when I brought Leticia to Nkhoma Hospital…My whole family has benefited from her becoming healthy again,” says Dorothy. With a healthy child, Dorothy had time to take care of her other children and to work on her maize field to produce food for her family.

To combat increasing malnutrition, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) is funding WFP and UNICEF to ensure comprehensive nutrition treatment services are available for children and pregnant/breastfeeding women at health facilities in 25 districts affected by food insecurity. In districts with high incidences of HIV and tuberculosis (TB), malnutrition treatment services are also offered to malnourished adults.

The funding helps ensure that children who receive treatment in health centres have access to comprehensive services. Both agencies also ensure that treatment supplies for the two types of malnutrition, moderate and severe, are found in the health facilities, making certain that malnourished patients receive the right treatment at the right time.

“Children who receive both treatments at the same hospital recover faster than those who get the treatments from different hospitals,” says Regina Nthala, assistant nutritionist at Nkhoma Hospital.

As part of the ongoing emergency response to the lean season food insecurity, WFP also works to prevent malnutrition through provision of fortified blended food to all children aged between 6-23 months and pregnant/breastfeeding women in food insecure households. UNICEF conducts nationwide mass screenings for malnutrition, and, with support from DFID, is able to reach almost all children in the 25 districts affected by food insecurity. The screenings enable early identification of malnourished children; the children are then referred to health facilities for appropriate treatment.

Nutrition services offered by the two UN agencies are further enhanced by efforts to ensure that parents have the knowledge they need for their children to grow up healthy and strong. Treatment days at health facilities start with nutrition education on feeding practices (including breastfeeding), maternal health and hygiene and sanitation.

For the 2015/16 lean season in Malawi, WFP and UNICEF have received a total of US$10.9 million from DFID to protect the most vulnerable from food and nutrition insecurity.

To combat escalating malnutrition rates, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), is funding WFP and UNICEF to ensure comprehensive nutrition treatment services are available for children and pregnant/breastfeeding women at health facilities in 25 districts affected by the current food insecurity in Malawi. In districts with high incidences of HIV and tuberculosis (TB), malnutrition treatment services are also offered to malnourished adults.



04/19/2016 - 10:08

“Humans don’t say to themselves, I’ll go to work today and do something bad to the world. Then in my spare time, I’ll do something good.”

As Heino Meerkatt, Senior Advisor to The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) sees it, business and humanitarian action are intertwined – not binary tracks, not competing principles, but a bundle of positive energy that’s hard to disentangle. Nor is it exactly Corporate Social Responsibility that Mr Meerkatt has in mind. “CSR can be a fine thing,” he says. “But often it just ticks a box to keep shareholders happy. It’s about small inputs and big claims. With BCG, it’s the opposite: we invest a lot, we want to make a difference – and worry less about blowing our own trumpet.”

[quote|"We want to change the world." Bruce Henderson, founder of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG)]

Executive Director Ertharin Cousin with Ms. Wendy Woods, Global Social Impact Leader and Heino Meerkatt.(Photo:WFP/Giulio d'Adamo)

BCG is a leading strategy consultancy. Among business graduates, its growth-share matrix – which founder Bruce Henderson summed up as a vintage pictogram of dog, cow, star and question mark – has cultish status. Today, BCG is present in 48 countries; its roster of clients includes many of the largest enterprises in each of these economies. Yet BCG’s brand of idealism still harks back to the 1960s (coincidentally, also the era when WFP was founded): it suggests a development agency wrapped inside a corporate giant.

“We want to change the world," Henderson said early on. And with Partners still committed to his vision, this ambition has endured and grown. Every year, BCG donates thousands of hours’ work to WFP – as well as to other global or local non-profits and social sector organizations.

Shifting development perspectives

The firm’s business model aims to uphold a continuum between the private and the public good. BCG treats its pro bono partners much as it does any heavyweight client. Effecting change is what BCG is about, Mr. Meerkatt explains, so that – variation in scale aside – transforming a company is no different from transforming the world. This is also why BCG staff rotate freely through the group’s portfolio of paying and non-paying clients: there is no internal wall to separate the two, and no hierarchy in the company culture that makes the former more desirable than the latter. As Mr Meerkatt tells it, a client is a client – and the first step is understanding the needs of that client’s clients.

“I’ve visited WFP beneficiaries in Malawi – a remote area where four out of 10 children were stunted from chronic malnutrition. We met with the local chief and village council to share thoughts about aid. They were very clear about what they wanted: a sustained approach; long-term engagement. If you’re only going to be here for three or six months, they said, you might as well go back. Others have tried it. It doesn’t work.”

This, too, is indicative of an optical shift, a case of reading humanitarian situations through a lens borrowed from commercial settings. The talk is of informed end-users, customers with conscious needs rather than multitudes armed with begging bowls. Poor they may be, the thinking goes, but communities have specific expectations. Poverty does not preclude a sophisticated understanding of one’s strengths and weaknesses, obstacles and objectives.

If the language of business and that of humanitarian action are converging, it’s for a reason – or, rather, a whole set of them. For one thing, the relationship between donors/implementers on one side, and beneficiaries on the other, is becoming less unidirectional, more equally calibrated. Increasingly, humanitarianism as a doctrine of top-down intervention is giving way to the logic of empowerment and economic opportunity. It’s also the case that achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with their complex targets and 15-year timeframe, will require research, planning, policy choices, pilot testing, measuring tools and data crunching more commonly found in long-term marketing and investment strategies. Meanwhile, proliferating crises are squeezing public spending in rich countries; international aid budgets are under pressure. As it seeks to boost impact and unlock innovation, the humanitarian and development community is courting the private sector.

Innovating against hunger

In WFP’s case, donor confidence is solid enough; with an annual budget of around 5 billion dollars, the organization is on a comparatively strong footing. Even so, this is an agency that’s constantly battling emergencies, and the money has not always been there when most needed: once funds are pledged, it may be weeks before they turn into ready cash. With this in mind, in their first joint project in 2003, BCG and WFP created a mechanism known as Internal Project Landing (IPL). This allowed WFP to start work at short notice on projects with high funding probability – something the previous model made impossible.

“When the money has been pledged but won’t arrive for two or three months, why should beneficiaries suffer?” Mr Meerkatt asks. “There’s money in the bank account that can be borrowed in the meantime. Do the moral thing. Use it.”

Now 13 years old, the partnership with BCG has involved dozens of such initiatives. In an era of multiplying development actors; interlocked development goals; tighter national scrutiny; and shrinking aid budgets, the gift of time and expertise by the likes of BCG is clearly boosting WFP’s capacity to fulfil its humanistic mandate.

“Achieving Zero Hunger is a difficult, ambitious job,” says Private Partnerships Director Jay Aldous. “WFP needs to be operationally excellent, and BCG are helping get us to that point. Their solutions have allowed us to innovate and use technology to do what we do best: feed the greatest number in need today, and sow the seeds of sustainability for tomorrow.”

The Boston Consulting Group has a record of public-spirited action. Its pro bono engagement is helping the World Food Programme (WFP) fulfil its mission. 

04/19/2016 - 06:20

When humanitarian cargo needed to go to high-altitude areas in Nepal, where even off-road vehicles couldn’t reach, it was handed over to WFP's Remote Access Operation for onward transport by a network of porters and mules.

Mission impossible?

Communities in the most remote areas needed corrugated iron to build shelters and schools – but how to get it up the mountains beyond road access?

Mules were used to move food supplies to remote quake-affected areas that could not be reached by air or road. Photo: WFP/Tina Stacey

The load was too awkward for pack animals, and so the only option was to have porters carry it up mountain trails. The sheets of corrugated iron were rolled up into bundles to make them easier to carry.

Not for our teams!

Even in this format, the bundles were awkward. Depending on the width of the trails and personal preference, the porters decided whether to carry the bundles upright or sideways.

Porters chose to carry CGI vertically or horizontally     Photo: WFP/Tina Stacey

Bundle by bundle, step by step, in this way 72,598 desperately-needed sheets of corrugated iron were delivered over terraced fields, steep slopes and mountain trails across four districts.

Rebuilding homes

Why was corrugated iron so important? With homes destroyed, shelter was the first priority to protect earthquake survivors from monsoon rains and then from harsh winter weather. More than ten sheets were needed to build a shelter. In the districts of Dhading and Dolakha, 64,598 pieces of corrugated iron were used to build 4,664 shelters.

Corrugated iron roofing being used to create household shelter. Photo: WFP/Tina Stacey

Protecting children

Another 7,300 sheets were carried up mountains to build 76 temporary schools. These buildings are invaluable not only to help children continue their education, but also as a safe haven for children to reduce the risk of trafficking in the aftermath of the disaster.

Temporary Learning Centre, Borang Village. Photo: WFP/Tina Stacey

Providing jobs

The heroes of this story are the men and women who trod the arduous journey with this awkward load on their back. 

Porters receiving their wages Photo: WFP/Tina Stacey

WFP paid about US$1.4 million in wages to these porters and labourers – a lifeline at a time when their normal employment opportunities were greatly reduced due to the slump in tourism after the quake.

Words and photos by Tina Stacey

Rarely has the saying "When the going gets tough, the tough get going" been so true. Twelve months on from the devastating Nepal earthquake of April 25, we take a look at how teams delivering relief materials to the most remote communities rose to the challenge of getting everything but the kitchen sink up mountains and over high passes.

04/15/2016 - 20:30

[quote|“There is no food security without peace and no peace without food.”]

“More than 1.5 billion people are affected by violence and conflict every day. Conflict is widely recognized as a cause of hunger. Syria today is an example of that,” Cousin said.

Graduate students studying diplomacy, conflict resolution and human development listened intently as Cousin spoke of conflict and its link to hunger. Conflicts around the globe today fuel hunger by forcing migration, uprooting societies and reversing economic gains. Six years of war has destroyed Syria’s once stable economy and created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, in which WFP is reaching more than 6 million vulnerable Syrians and Syrian refugees each month.

WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin and Georgetown University School of Foreign Service Professor Mark Giordano

For students in the nation’s capital who aspire to have careers in peacekeeping, diplomacy and policy, Cousin’s emphasis on the link between global insecurity and hunger hit home. She called on the students as the next generation of leaders to enact change – and many already are on that path.

Jihane Bergaoui, a graduate student at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, has seen firsthand the victims of food insecurity in Syria. As part of her coursework, Jihane is designing a program that would help internally displaced Syrian children access nutritious food. After graduation, Jihane, a native of Morocco, plans to work in the Middle East. “There is so much conflict in the region. I think we need more people on the ground who are invested in the long term,” she said.

Mayo Floro, a graduate student in Georgetown’s global human development program, hopes to work at the intersection of food security, climate and policy. Born and raised in the Philippines, he witnessed how environmental shocks such as Typhoon Haiyan set back development of the country. “We’ve heard here today that helping communities build resilience to climate change is part of the foundation for stability. That’s what I hope to do for the Philippines and beyond,” he said.

Mayo Floro researching seaweed crops in Palawan, Philippines

Before coming to Georgetown, Mayo helped farmers in the Philippines with research and market access and will embark on a similar project this summer in Cali, Colombia.

Mirjam Kalle, a conflict resolution graduate student, says growing up in Germany and working with asylum seekers in the country shaped her experience as a child and was a driver for studying conflict and migration. “With Germany being a host country for refugees around the world, I want to work at the heart of the conflicts that drive people from their homes,” she said. Mirjam is learning Arabic and will work with refugees and host communities in Beirut this summer.   


“There is no food security without peace and no peace without food,” WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin told graduate students gathered at Georgetown University on 12 April. The event, Zero Hunger: A Foundation for Global Stability and Prosperity, was part of the university’s Global Futures initiative that engages the public sector, business and civil society in international affairs.   

04/13/2016 - 18:31

"As a health advisor, every day I see the worrisome nutritional conditions of boys and girls in my community,” said Eva Hernández, who has been the health advisor for eight years in Ojo de Agua, in reference to the situation provoked by the drought.

“When we received the mixture of fortified cereal for our kids, I felt empowered because now I can offer a solution,” said Hernández, “and now I am happy because the results are amazing, as children with low weight and height have managed to reach normal levels in just three months.”

For Silvia Anabel Hernández, mother of a 1-year old boy named Maynor Eliu, receiving the fortified cereal mixture was a blessing because her child has gained the adequate weight and height for his age.

"I'm so happy, because when Maynor started eating the cereal he weighed 10 kg and his height was 75cm. Now he weighs 11 kg and his height is 77.8.  In these months that I have given him the cereal, he has improved each month and the advisors told me that he now has the right weight and height for his age,” said Silvia Anabel. 

Maynor’s mom explained that he loves the Super Cereal Plus. “I combine it with milk, add banana or cassava to vary the taste, or I make Fritas(fried dough made with cereal). Now I see him bigger and more beautiful," said Silvia Anabel. 

With the support of the government of the United States of America, WFP in Honduras is delivering 170 metric tons of Super Cereal Plus in the communities most affected by drought, located in the dry corridor of Honduras. To date, more than 9,200 children have benefitted from the distributions. 

The distributions have avoided a deterioration in malnutrition rates in the municipality where people were concerned about effects of the drought crisis.

Twenty three out of the 61 children registered at the health centre in the village of Ojo de Agua suffer from nutritional problems. In response, WFP and local authorities began three months ago the distribution of Super Cereal Plus, a fortified blended food, in the village located in the municipality of Santiago de Puringla in the Department of La Paz. 

04/06/2016 - 23:42
Climate Change

“Thanks to the support provided by the Cerrejón Guajira Indigenous Foundation and WFP, we have something that we never had before: a nice and organized place to store our seeds. We must no longer wait for the rainy season to plant our food, now we have the resources to do it and keep our entire community well", said Carmelita Epinayú, Jatkusira community leader.

Since 2014, the Department of La Guajira has been in a state of emergency due to drought. Water access and food insecurity are currently the main concerns the department faces. Primarily impacted are the indigenous Wayuu communities, where 28 percent of children in early childhood suffer from chronic malnutrition and 53 percent of the population live in poverty according to the country’s National Survey on the Nutritional Situation (ENSIN 2010).

This increasing problem, caused by natural phenomena, significantly impacts the lifestyle of people, especially among the most vulnerable.

Based on a study of the communities, WFP partnered with the Cerrejón Guajira Indigenous Foundation to launch a project to improve and strengthen the livelihood of the Wayuu indigenous communities. “Banks are a priority for WFP in order to contribute to the improvement of communities facing food and nutrition security crises caused by climate change and drought, as well as to strengthen the social material of the Wayuu communities and recovery of ancestral knowledge", said Deborah Hines, WFP Representative in Colombia.

Through the implementation of the banks, Wayuu communities will be able to strengthen their resilience to the effects of drought and desertification. These initiatives promote food and nutrition security and the recovery of ancestral knowledge of the Wayuu  with agricultural practices aimed at sustainability and improving their quality of life.The banks will benefit more than 70 families in three communities within the municipalities of Maicao and Uribia. 

For more information about WFP's work in Colombia click here

WFP and the Cerrejón Guajira Indigenous Foundation have launched seed, food, and fodder banks in the communities of Jackutsira, Ishichon and Pesuapa, Colombia. 

04/06/2016 - 23:13
Climate Change

Families receive a cash transfer through text messages via mobile phones, allowing them to purchase or redeem food at shops, small markets, grocery stores and markets of their choice. As a result, they fulfil their food needs and boost the local economy. Families receive US$75 a month for three months (US$225 total) so that they can rebuild their livelihoods and prevent deterioration of their nutritional status.

"The World Food Programme has been a strategic partner of the Government of the United States for many years and particularly in Honduras. Visiting this community has allowed us to see the benefits that the cash transfer has brought not only to families affected by drought but also to their communities,” said Minister Counselor of the US Embassy in Honduras, Julie Torres.

The Minister Counselor visited several beneficiary families in the village of San Miguel in the company of the WFP Representative, Pasqualina Di Sirio, and the Mayor of Santiago de Puringla, Javier Argueta.

"On behalf of all women who are beneficiaries and single mothers, I want to thank the government of the United States, the government of Honduras and WFP for this support that they are giving us because it is very helpful for our families. With all my heart and with each smile of every one of our children, thank you very much," said Antonia Hernandez, a beneficiary in the village of Aldea de Bañaderos, Santiago de Puringla.

During 2015-2016, cash-based transfers have had a positive effect on the local economy and for the rehabilitation of productive plots and basic infrastructure such as schools, health centers, roads, and water and sanitation services. It has led to these significant secondary benefits because the beneficiaries, as part of the initiative, must perform community activities to improve their living conditions and those of their community.

"Investing in the health and nutrition of families is investing in the future of your communities.  That’s why it is important that you, the beneficiary, invest in feeding your family and that the works carried out in your communities are works for the benefit of all. Such long-term improvements including schools, roads, and drains strengthen you to be able to face future emergencies," said the Minister Counselor of the Embassy of the United States of America.

By 2016, the Government of the United States, through the World Food Programme has allocated US$2.3 million to support:
•    10,408 families in five departments affected by drought.
• The distribution of 170 Metric Tons of Super Cereal Plus, a supplementary and nutritious food enriched with protein, vitamins and minerals to assist children under 5 years old who are at risk of malnutrition.
• The Super Cereal Plus has benefited 9,298 children in 44 municipalities and five departments, which were targeted by the Government of Honduras through the Ministry of Health.

Santiago de Puringla is one of the 26 municipalities receiving support from the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the Government of Honduras, through the Commission for the Prevention of Contingencies (COPECO), thanks to the financial support from the Embassy of the United States of America in Honduras which has contributed 75 percent of the funds received to serve drought-affected families.