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Partnerships for innovation transform food assistance

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An Innovations Fund set up in 2008 thanks to a US$76 million investment by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is enabling WFP to transform the way it provides food assistance. It has sparked important developments in a key programme linking farmers to markets and in the use of cash and vouchers.

ROME -- Innovative new partnerships are paving the way for WFP to transform the way in which it is delivering food assistance. Investments in WFP assistance support the building of local economies, improve resiliency and build local capacity to break the hunger cycle.

One such relationship has been established through a generous donation from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is underpinning a revolution from food aid to food assistance.

Since 2008, WFP has been working with the Saudi government on a US$76-million dollar investment in an Innovations Fund, specifically designed to look at longer-term sustainability solutions.

The investment, part of a larger US$500 million dollar contribution from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques His Majesty King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, has sparked significant development in WFP’s Purchase for Progress (P4P), Cash and Vouchers and Forward Purchasing Facility (FPF) programmes.

Country-led solutions

In addition to supporting these two established programmes, the Saudi government’s investment has driven a focus on country-led hunger solutions.

These solutions are guided by the specific needs in individual countries and driven by the national food security, nutrition, hunger and/or climate adaptation plans with a view of mitigating future crises.

‘WFP has been able to assist more than 60 countries and transformed tens of millions of lives through innovative support from His Majesty King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. It is in partnership with forward-thinking nations like Saudi Arabia, that WFP is able to restore dignity, self-sufficiency and choice to vulnerable communities previously dependent on emergency relief and goodwill," says Terri Toyota, WFP Director of Donor Relations.

WFP hopes to continue to create these types of industry-changing partnerships to better serve the growing number of people in need.