Sign up today to join our online community, receive email alerts, and make a difference!
Cancel

Stories

A unique view of all the ways WFP is assisting millions of people worldwide.
Subscribe

650335
09/13/2016 - 15:00
Responding to Emergencies

Sultan Ismail was among those people displaced from Nehim district into the nearby Bani Husheish area, in the northern Sana’a governorate, and who recently received a basket of staple food for their families.

Ismail says he fled his home with his family after fighting erupted in the area.

“I have five children and I escaped from my house, along with other neighbours, when the rockets started to fall in our village,” he explained. 


Sultan Ismail: “This (food) will help us to survive and withstand these difficult circumstances for a longer period. I hope this war ends and all displaced people return to their homes.” Photo: WFP/Fares Khoailed  

Families previously uprooted by fighting in Taiz, Al Jawf and Marib governorates were also among those who received food assistance at the distribution. 

There are nearly 3 million displaced people in Yemen, and 14.1 million Yemenis are food insecure, meaning they are unsure where their next meal will come from. This includes 7 million people who are severely food insecure – a level of need that requires urgent food assistance.

With ECHO support, WFP has been able to provide a basket of food including wheat, beans, sugar and vegetable oil fortified with Vitamin A.


Displaced Yemenis look for their names on a list before taking their food baskets, in one of the food-distribution centres in Sana’a. Photo: WFP/Fares Khoailed   

The European Union has been a consistent supporter of WFP in Yemen, having made contributions for resilience programmes and nutrition interventions for malnourished children since before the civil war broke out in Yemen in 2015.

Prior to the war, the country was already importing over 90 percent of its food and child malnutrition rates were among the highest in the world. 

– Story by Brook Dubois and Intisar Alqsar

The World Food Programme (WFP) has recently provided urgently needed food for more than 22,000 displaced people in northern Yemen, thanks to support from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO). It is part of WFP’s efforts to reach vulnerable families in 19 out of Yemen’s 22 governorates, supported by contributions from ECHO.

650333
09/13/2016 - 11:10

Meet Hanan Abdalla Mohammed. She lives in Shagra village in Darfur, Sudan, and has six children. Hanan is involved in a World Food Programme (WFP) project to help women safely cook food for themselves and their families. She is one of over 2 million women in Darfur reached under WFP’s Safe Access to Fuel and Energy programme, also known simply as SAFE. READ MORE HERE

650329
09/09/2016 - 21:13
School Meals

 

Looking for more recipes? Visit our FamilyChef page

Introducing fresh produce in WFP Haiti’s School Meals Programme

Bezin National School is one of the 24 schools participating in WFP’s first Home Grown School Meals Programme in Haiti. WFP has partnered with local NGOs and small farmers' organizations to ensure that the children receive a daily hot meal cooked entirely with fresh locally sourced ingredients, such as local beans and sorghum.

Since January 2016, with the first delivery of fresh produce, the school has seen a marked change in attendance. Children enjoy coming to school, where they can now eat a hot lunch, and are learning about the value of local production and consumption. The added nutritional value of the home-grown produce and the support that the programme provides to the local economy are important for many parents, who willingly contribute to the school meals, both with spices as well as their time. 

How to prepare your own version of Touffé de legumes 

1) In a pot, cover the black beans with water and simmer on the stove over low heat for about 45 minutes or until tender.

2) While the beans are cooking, peel, and chop the carrots, cabbage, eggplant, and mirliton into small pieces. Boil for 30 minutes or until soft. Drain.

3) Mash all the vegetables, except carrots, with a mortar and pestle or food processor. Add the tomato paste. 

4) Heat your oil in a deep pot over low heat, and add the crushed garlic, green onions, black pepper, and dried fish. Once the mix has slightly browned, add the precooked black beans.

5) Rinse the sorghum or millet under running water. In a separate pot, cover with water and boil over low heat for 15 minutes. Drain and add to the beans. 

6) Divide the sorghum and bean mix among 4 plates and top with vegetables. Bon appétit! 

WFP is 100% voluntary funded. This home grown school meals pilot is possible thanks to financing from the Brazilian Government in coordination with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Agriculture. WFP's local implementing partners are the Reseau des Producteurs Agricoles de Nippes (ROPANIP) and the Bureau de Nutrition et Développement (BND). 

Learn More about Nippes Pilot programme: From Field To Table: Follow The Food In Haitian Home-Grown School Meals In 10 Steps.

Welcome to FamilyChef, the recipe series of the World Food Programme (WFP). Touffé de legumes, a vegetable stew, is a Haitian classic, served by WFP to school children as part of its school meals programme.

650309
09/08/2016 - 18:02
Preventing Hunger

Marie Zuo, Musu Tokpa, and Mamiata Singbe are beaming behind a bucket full of fresh eggplants and peppers. They are part of among nearly 25 women (and a few men) of the Donfah Rural Farmers Group in Donfah, Bong County, in the north-central part of Liberia.

The group has a lot of things to be proud of. Over the past three years, they have seen swamplands metamorphose into lush rice fields and gardens heavily laden with vegetables.

How did they do it?

A mix of things. Learning, for one, to produce better rice, by using a better water and pest control mechanisms. Planting better seeds. All leading not only to grow enough food to eat, but also to have some to sale and make a profit.

In nearby Melekie, on the outskirts of Gbarnga town, the War Affected Rural Women Group are operating a mammoth 20.3 hectares of lowland covered in green rice fields.

WFP and its partner, Catalyst Incorporated, started the four-year “Community-Based Sustainable Food Security of Smallholder Rice Producers” project funded by Japan in 2013 in Bong County.

It works with 450 farmers (more than half of them women) across ten communities in Bong County.

The farmers learn how to rehabilitate swamplands into rice fields, repair or build infrastructure so that they have easier access to markets to sell their products, learn how to diversify their food productions by establishing vegetable gardens whilst receiving WFP food assistance for their work - as part of WFP's Food for Assets programme-as well as seeds for planting.

It is a perfect example of people transforming their communities and their lives with the right type of support.

Photos and text: WFP/John Monibah 

 

 

 

In rural Liberia, thanks to the support of the Government of Japan, WFP and its partners, hundreds of farmers have transformed swamplands into lush rice fields and created gardens heavily laden with vegetables.

650305
09/08/2016 - 11:42
Cash and Vouchers

The cash voucher was introduced to give refugees the possibility to choose their own rations from the traders partnering with WFP with the aim of diversifying the contents of their food basket. Today, the paper-based cash vouchers have been transfored into e-Vouchers, and can be redeemed at the same retailers partnering with WFP.

After UNHCR confirms the status and identity of the household, refugees are registered, enrolled into the SCOPE platform—a powerful and flexible data source that allows WFP to better keep track of registrations—and each household is provided with an electronic card which is charged every month. Upon receiving the card, the refugee families head to the distribution center where merchants verify the ownership of the card through a unique PIN code. 

44-year-old Moziga Aichatou (below) fled the conflict in Mali in 2012 with her husband, El Hadj Gimraw and their 10 children. She has been living in Mangaize camp with her family and was the first refugee to receive the e-voucher card.

“Now I can shop like everyone else and choose the products I usually eat. I gain a lot of time because I don’t have to queue to receive my rations anymore. It’s good to be back to normal,” she says.

For many other refugees like Moziga this electronic card represents a newfound dignity. The long queues to receive the paper vouchers are now an old memory.

The new platform brings significant advantages for WFP, UNHCR and their partners as well The card is issued for the whole duration of the food assistance and is automatically recharged with no transaction costs. The retailers are no longer forced to verify the authenticity of the paper-based vouchers or count them one by one and the long distribution chain that existed with the paper vouchers has been reduced to a simple interaction between retailers and refugees.

This platform will also improve the transparency and quality of data, and provides a more effective way to collect the data for monitoring and evaluation purposes for both agencies. 

It is estimated that the e-Vouchers mechanism in Mangaize camp allows WFP to save USD $60,000 per year compared to the paper vouchers process.

To date, nearly 9,000 refugees benefitted from the e-Vouchers. WFP will scale up the use of e-Vouchers to 66,300 people living in the other camps before the end of the year. In 2017, WFP plans to further broaden the use of this new assistance mechanism to reach also non-refugee beneficiaries.

Written by: Sidiki Traoré Boubacar, WFP Niger. All photos: WFP/Fati Abdou.

Since the introduction of cash vouchers in 2013, WFP and UNHCR have been looking for a way to build a simpler, more innovative, secure and flexible mechanism that would respond to the needs of Malian refugees in Mangaize refugee camp. In August, this became a reality as the two agencies introduced the new e-Voucher system that will benefit thousands of refugees located in one of Niger’s harshest regions.

650293
09/06/2016 - 09:47

High altitudes and cool temperatures create a morning dew on the trees and shrubs around her house. On the surface it looks like any other dry season Juliana has experienced in her 57 years living and working on farms, but this year’s maize harvest is different for her and for 23,000 other farmers throughout Tanzania.

“I couldn’t believe it. This was the largest harvest I’ve ever had,” says Juliana.

Photo: WFP/Max Wohlgemuth

A New Beginning

[quote|"This was the largest harvest I've ever had." – Juliana, a smallholder farmer participating in the Patient Procurement Platform.]

Juliana, a mother of five, is a participant in the Patient Procurement Platform, a new initiative that started in 2015 that provides agricultural services through a consortium to help smallholder farmers increase the quality and quantity of their yields. Under the initiative, farmers such as Juliana can now access services such as credit, high quality inputs, extension services and post-harvest technologies while gaining reliable access to more profitable markets such as commercial maize processors.

“Before this year, planting was always a difficult time,” says Juliana. “Most years we didn’t have enough money for both food and fertilizers, causing us to have to make hard decisions.”

Due to a combination of annual rainfall patterns, lack of access to credit and lack of guaranteed markets, smallholder farmers in Tanzania often struggle to find the means to invest in high quality inputs. For many this often spells disaster but not this year for Juliana.

“Food is the most important thing that we can really struggle with, but thanks to the Platform, this year I don’t have to worry about it,” says Juliana.

Creating access to loans

Through the Platform smallholder farmers have access to loans, which they can use to buy quality inputs. As part of the Platform, Juliana paid a down payment of US$ 45, which provided her access to hybrid seeds, fertilizer, and herbicide that she otherwise would not have been able to afford. In addition, Juliana and other Platform farmers received extension services, which advised best times for planting and adding inputs.

“The key is to ensure that we are able to assist farmers throughout the planting season and beyond,” said Ananth Raj, WFP Platform Coordinator in Tanzania. “We are able to achieve this by building a broad coalition of partners. It’s the consistent access to low cost, high quality services that will unlock the real potential of smallholders.”

Photo: WFP/Max Wohlgemuth

Reaping Big Rewards

WFP and seven private sector buyers across Tanzania pledged to purchase up to 22,000MT of maize from Platform farmers giving them access to predictable demand. Subsequently, the demand was leveraged throughout the season and the farmers were empowered to negotiate fair prices at harvest. In her first season with the Platform, Juliana increased her maize yield by 50 percent. After harvest, Juliana then aggregated her maize with other farmers in the group which enabled them access to cheaper transportation rates.

In the 2016-17 planting season, the Platform aims to double its current reach to 50,000 farmers with plans to then scale up to 75,000 farmers by 2018 while also increasing farmers’ profits by 150 percent per hectare. The plan is to add additional services, including insurance products, access to mobile-based information and training content as well as post-harvest shelling and drying. Although it is still early, the initiative has already had a large impact on the lives of the participating farmers and news of the Platform is spreading in the villages.

“It didn’t take much,” Juliana said, “After seeing how big my harvest was, all my neighbours and friends began asking me what I did differently and then how they could join the Platform.”

*WFP supports smallholder farmers to transition from subsistence farming to market-oriented agriculture, and contributes to the achievement of systemic, demand-led market change. Through the Patient Procurement Platform consortium, work is being carried out in a concerted effort with seven other global members: Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa; Bayer Crop Science AG; Grow Africa; International Finance Corporation; Syngenta Crop Protection AG; Rabobank; and Yara International ASA. The Platform is currently active in Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zambia.

**The Platform would like to thank the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) for setting precedence through its multi-year commitment to the Platform’s rollout and The Rockefeller Foundation, for supporting post-harvest handling and loss activities.

See also WFP Boosts Food Security By Connecting Smallholder Farmers To Global Markets

The sun has barely peaked over the far off horizon, but Juliana Magulu is already awake and making tea before heading out to feed the chickens. There’s no rain this time of the year in Ukomora, a village tucked in the rolling countryside of Njombe region, some 700 kilometres south-west of Tanzania’s commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.

650281
09/02/2016 - 14:32
Purchase for Progress

Levels of food insecurity and undernutrition remain persistently high in Afghanistan. One of the ten countries with the highest burden of undernourished children, it is affected by some of the highest infant, child and maternal mortality rates in the world. As bread is the staple food for most families in Afghanistan, using flour that is fortified with essential vitamins and minerals is both a practical and feasible solution to address micronutrient deficiencies across the population, and ultimately contribute to a world of Zero Hunger.

WFP supports mills making fortified flour, and then buys the flour to provide to vulnerable people – such as in the food-assistance programme for displaced families.
On a recent visit, the World Food Programmes’s Executive Director Ertharin Cousin helped highlight how the project is combating malnutrition and helping Afghan economic development.

“The majority of poor people in Afghanistan are farmers working in rural areas, working in agriculture,” she said. “It’s not just about increasing quality and quantity, it’s about ensuring that those farmers have access to reliable, sustainable and durable markets, and that’s what this mill provides.” 


WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin meets with Bakhtar Mill Manager Abdul Mateen, during her visit to Afghanistan. Photo: ©WFP/Jeanne Spillane

WFP began supporting local flour fortification in 2006 in five mills across Afghanistan, and now provides equipment and the vitamin and mineral mix – known as premix – to 27 mills across the country. Bakhtar Mill, which joined WFP’s fortification programme in 2011, has produced 13,500 metric tons of fortified wheat flour so far this year. In the first 6 months of 2016, WFP-supported mills in Afghanistan produced 67,000 mt of fortified flour, enough for more than 400,000 people to eat bread made from WFP fortified flour.

The Executive Director asked manager Abdul Mateen Rahimi if the mill would continue to produce fortified flour if WFP were no longer a buyer. He replied that now they are aware of the importance of fortification, and their customers recognize the high quality of the flour they produce, he expected the market for their flour to continue to grow.

Through its Purchase for Progress (P4P) programme, WFP supports smallholder farmers by connecting them to markets – giving them an opportunity to grow their businesses and improve both their lives and those of their entire communities. 


WFP has provided training to 27 mills across Afghanistan. Photo: ©WFP/Wahidullah Amani 

With its launch in Afghanistan in 2009, P4P has been sourcing locally produced wheat from smallholder farmers’ organizations to link them to the market. As a result, 20,000 smallholder wheat farmers are now organized in 86 farming cooperatives, and millers are required to locally source 30 to 50 percent of the wheat grain used to produce flour for WFP distributions. Since July 2015, WFP has provided only locally fortified wheat flour – as the cereal component of its food basket – under its food-assistance programmes.

WFP’s flour-fortification programme supports the government’s National Nutrition Policy and targets the general population. WFP has also been working with the government on food-quality and control standards, has helped set up the Afghanistan Fortified Flour Producers’ Association, and is supporting the Ministry of Public Health in communicating the benefits of fortified foods.

Tucked away on an industrial estate in the urban area of Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, the Bakhtar Flour Mill may seem an unlikely location for a project that not only supports smallholder farmers, but also helps to improve the nutrition of hundreds of thousands of Afghans. 

650274
09/01/2016 - 12:12
School Meals

Credit: WFP/Djakaridja Sawadogo

Established in 2014, KSS began its collaboration with WFP in April 2015. The group comprises of 18 women. This partnership has grown over the past year, expanding each reach from 14 to 20 schools, and as schools get ready to open their doors again in Burkina in October, it is set to expand even further.   

During the 2015-2015 school year, more than 2,000 liters of milk were purchased by the women's group, for a total amount of XOF 1.2 million (USD $2100), enabling the women to turn ito fresh yoghurt for the students. The initiative helps both the women's group but also the cattle breeders, providing them with an avenue to sell their milk.

"Before our partnership with WFP, we processed 40 liters of milk on a daily basis. This production has now increased to 100 liters. The project has stimulated the creation of several dairies in the city of Dori but we are not afraid of competition. Thanks to our partnership with WFP, our group is now recognized across the Sahel region. We will look at finding ways to work with the breeders to produce more milk even during the dry season when grazing and fodder become scarce," said Mariama Dicko, president of KSS group and a mother of three children.

Credit: WFP/Djakaridja Sawadogo

Thanks to the project and WFP’s regular demand for yogurt, the price for a liter of milk has increased and is stable at XOF 500 (USD 1)/ liter. Breeders now have better incomes and this has had a positive impact on their villages. Mariama welcomes KSS's collaboration with WFP as it will improve and increase their production.

“This project will help fight against women’s poverty. Now, we all have a permanent job with a regular income and we are able to provide for our families, to feed our children, and support their school fees and healthcare costs. Our wish is to acquire more training on group management, quality and hygiene, to have more equipment to help us improve our cold chain and to increase production," she says.

In the long run, Mariama’s hope is to develop the group and produce other dairy products such as sweetened condensed milk, unsweetened milk as well as to improving packaging and labeling.

The Ministry of Education and Literacy and the World Food Programme (WFP) are committed to promote the Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) model in Burkina Faso's schools with the financial support of Canada, Luxembourg and the Cartier Charitable Foundation. This partnership will strengthen WFP's capacity to provide school meals based on locally grown food to schoolchildren across the Sahel region. Kossam Saye Seno (KSS), a group of women farmers in Dori, the Sahel region's capital, partners with WFP to reach Zero Hunger in Burkina Faso by supplying local yogurt to nearly 3,000 schoolchildren.

650270
08/31/2016 - 19:31
School Meals

My memories of Adolfo are framed by his operational capacity, leading missions covering over 600 kilometers from the remote Nicaraguan Pacific to the vast plains and the coasts of the Caribbean Sea. WFP delivers much needed food to indigenous and Afro-descendant groups. These are the poorest and most vulnerable communities of the country. 

The Ministry of Education, with the support of WFP, is implementing school gardens as an educational tool that allows students to expand their knowledge on topics related to good nutrition. Fresh food consumption in schools is also encouraged to complement the daily school meals that students receive.

WFP Country Director, Anotonella D'Aprile, with the Vice Ministerof Education, Francis Díaz, delivering school garden supplies. 

Hailing from a family of farmers, Adolfo found the best way to show community members in the Caribbean town of Puerto Cabezas how to implement a school garden. How? By starting one himself. 

Leading By Example

There is little agricultural development on our multicultural Caribbean coast due to the acidic and unfertile soil and bad climatic conditions. In the communities, there are scarce and rudimentary agricultural tools because families do not have the habit of cultivating the land. But with the support of WFP, the Ministry of Education sent to the schools of Puerto Cabezas shovels, hoes, rakes, watering cans, wheelbarrows, pickaxes, and other gardening tools; as well as pumpkin seeds, pipian, watermelons, melons, sweet peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes and carrots to begin gardening.

The Ministry of Education’s staff provided horticultural training sessions to community leaders and members. “People were skeptical, they didn’t know how or where to begin. They didn’t trust the soil. They didn’t believe the gardens would be fruitful,” Adolfo told me later. With so much uncertainty, teachers and parents started to visit the WFP Bilwi Office seeking guidance. “I pondered on the best way to show them that not only would this work, it would be a success,” recalls Adolfo.

Tools in hand, Adolfo solicited the help of WFP Driver, Denis Duarte, together they started working on the vacant plot of land where mobile warehouses were installed. Two more co-workers, Erby Franklin and Selucia Levy, joined the initiative by watering and taking care of the plants cultivated by their colleagues. Soon, the team’s efforts showed the expected results: tomatoes, sweet peppers, watermelons and melons grew! Providing the much needed proof to the community.  

The success of Adolfo and the rest of the WFP Bilwi Office team was the needed motivation for the local community to start their school gardens. The fruits of their labor undeniable, as there is now 62 school gardens in the municipality of Puerto Calabazas.

I never imagined that my colleague, Adolfo Reyes, head of the Bilwi Office, located on the Northern coast of Nicaragua, would grab a machete and gardening tools to “complement” his work with WFP. But he did just that, to prep the land for gardening right next to the WFP Office.

650267
08/30/2016 - 16:31

Safe Access to Fuel and Energy infographic