A Lifeline for Those Furthest Behind: Use of Multilateral and Immediate Response Account Funding - 2017 Report

from World Food Programme
Published on 14 May 2018

2017 was a brutal year.

A portion of South Sudan fell into famine. Somalia, Yemen and parts of northeast Nigeria nearly slid into all-out hunger catastrophes. The war in Syria dragged on, ravaging families while millions remained dependent on outside assistance to meet their most basic needs. In September, hurricanes tore through islands in the Caribbean, obliterating infrastructure and rendering entire communities with few options for food and other necessities. Millions were forced to flee their homes amid spasms of violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq and Myanmar.

War, climate change, corruption and poor governance conspired to degrade systems and societies, leading to the breakdown of food systems. In 2017, the number of undernourished people increased, with 815 million people now hungry in today’s world.

During this time of unprecedented demands on the humanitarian system, and with the majority of donor contributions tied to specific activities, the World Food Programme depends more than ever on governments to allow greater flexibility in how their life-saving funds are spent. Greater flexible funding empowers WFP with the ability to respond swiftly where needs are most acute, and adapt its response in the most efficient and effective way.

WFP is driven by concern for the world’s most vulnerable people, particularly women and children, and the responsibility to use food and related assistance to save lives, relieve suffering and improve food security. In this context, the question of earmarking may be weighed against the considerations of humanity and impartiality, two key humanitarian principles for WFP. In these principles, WFP commits to prevent and alleviate suffering wherever it is found and to provide assistance based solely on need, without judgement based on ethnic origin, nationality, gender, race or religion.

Flexible funding not only empowers WFP with the ability to respond at speed and scale, but also enables the provision of assistance in alignment with core humanitarian principles. These funds allow WFP to surge a rapid and effective response where it is needed most, whether to man-made conflicts or natural disasters. They restore rations that have been cut, and reduce the lead time for delivery of food. Flexible funds provide WFP with stability to best manage programmes, and allow for longer-term planning so needs can be met proactively. And they enhance WFP's use of internal lending facilities, so the organization can procure and preposition food for better preparation and quicker response.

Presented for the first time online - A Lifeline for Those Furthest Behind: Use of Multilateral and Immediate Response Account Funding - 2017 Report - tells the impactful story of the use of flexible funds across WFP operations. In this report, you can learn about the vital nature of these funds in responding to large-scale crises and hunger emergencies. See who is contributing to these funding facilities and learn about the trends in flexible funding. Hear first-hand from the WFP Somalia Country Director and a high-level representative of Switzerland, the largest donor to the Immediate Response Account.

The centerpiece of the report - a story map that provides a chronology and data visualization of the use of flexible funds each month - illustrates the responsive nature of these funding facilities to respond to sudden onset emergencies and prop up underfunded operations and “forgotten crises.” And you can learn about the work WFP is doing to enhance the visibility of these important funds for the organization’s life-saving work.