WFP’S ROLE IN CAPACITY STRENGTHENING TO END HUNGER
The United Nations Secretary General defines Agenda 2030: To End Poverty and Hunger as “our imperative for change” and states that “national capacity development remains the most critical function of the United Nations development system and must be given priority across all functions.”
Although WFP assists over 85 million people in 84 countries, approximately 815 million people continue to go hungry each year. The truth is that no organization can reach Zero Hunger alone, and country capacity strengthening (CCS) has formidable potential to scale up the impact of WFP’s support by increasing the numbers and types of champions capable of driving progress to end hunger in their own contexts.
CCS is a service WFP offers in response to stakeholder requests for support in strengthening their own national food security and nutrition systems. WFP can provide needs-based and context-specific guidance and feedback across a range of areas, through a systematic and participatory approach that enables stakeholders to strengthen and embed essential capacities.
Capacity strengthening support that responds to national stakeholder needs and priorities also enhances the autonomy and resilience of nations. It decreases their need for external assistance and frees up key financial and human resources which can be used elsewhere to save more lives, change more lives and empower more nations: this is what the humanitarian-development nexus looks like in action.
WFP has been engaging in country capacity strengthening for years, in humanitarian and development contexts; its support benefits from the organisation’s extensive field presence, solid understanding of context and beneficiary needs, and established networks and partnerships. Agenda 2030 and recent lessons learned provide WFP with the impetus to strengthen its conceptual and operational approach to CCS to better contribute to national Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) efforts and results. Indeed, an in-depth corporate evaluation and an audit exercise concluded in 2016 identified several areas within the organization in need of attention to strengthen WFP’s ability to deliver and demonstrate sustainable capacity strengthening results over time.
In this challenging era of responding to the global call from nations for assistance in meeting their SDGs, there is an organization-wide need to demonstrate effective and sustained contributions to a range of national development processes. It is against this backdrop that WFP has been working intensely to enhance its corporate approach to country capacity strengthening.