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2019 - World Food Programme: Overview

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The World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization working towards zero hunger by 2030.

WFP is the first on the scene in an emergency, providing food and other assistance to the victims of conflict, drought, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, crop failures and pandemics.

At the same time, we focus on sustainable development, promoting long-term change by working in partnership with national governments.

Saving lives

WFP manages complex emergencies where communities are hungry, homeless or without any source of income. We coordinate responses to large-scale emergencies on behalf of the wider humanitarian community, as the lead agency of the Logistics Cluster and the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster, and we co-lead the Food Security Cluster.

Two-thirds of WFP’s work is in conflict-affected countries, where people are three times more likely to be undernourished than elsewhere.

Our largest emergency response is currently in Yemen, with ongoing conflict causing one of the world’s worst hunger crises, while in Syria we are assisting millions of people displaced by the ongoing civil war. Northeastern Nigeria and South Sudan are among other countries where WFP is assisting those affected by violence and insecurity. Our response can include a combination of food, cash, nutrition supplements and school feeding. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, another country where conflict and hunger fuel one another, WFP is also helping to contain an ebola outbreak by providing food and logistical services.

Our engineers are critically important in emergency response. In addition to food assistance for thousands of Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar into Bangladesh, our engineers created safe, level land at Kutupalong camp to lessen the threat posed by monsoons.

A rapidly increasing number of climate shocks also demand swift and decisive responses. When Cyclone Idai struck Mozambique and floods washed away an estimated 400,000 hectares of crops in early 2019, WFP deployed quickly to provide food and vouchers, while also planning recovery, reconstruction and resilience-building activities. We also restored vital communications networks to accelerate the response by government and humanitarian partners.

Our emergency work is also pre-emptive, in seeking to offset the potential impact of disaster. In the Sahel region of Africa, where economic challenges, climate variability and armed militants combine to create a highly unstable environment, WFP worked with local communities to harvest water for irrigation and restore degraded land, while also promoting improved health and education services and improved livelihoods.