The World Food Programme (WFP) is an international organization that works in the field of hunger alleviation and food security. Such international groups and programs are important for the UPSC exam international relations segment. In this article, you can read all about the WFP and its work, especially with respect to India.
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World Food Programme (WFP)
In a recent development, the World Food Programme (WFP) has won the 2020 Nobel Prize for Peace, for its work in the field of combating hunger and ‘its efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict’.
WFP is a branch of the United Nations that deals with hunger eradication and promotes food security in the world. It is especially focused on countries where hunger is an issue.
- Operating in more than 80 countries, WFP provides food assistance during emergencies and works with communities to enhance nutrition and generate resilience.
- Its chief goal currently is to end hunger, attain food security and augment nutrition by 2030.
- It is focused on emergency assistance, development aid, relief and rehabilitation, and special operations.
- Most of their work is concentrated in conflict-affected countries.
- WFP’s work is guided by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Founded in 1961, it is headquartered in Rome, Italy.
To know more about Important Headquarters of International Organizations, check the linked article.
WFP is funded completely by voluntary donations.
- It is governed by an Executive Board composed of 36 member states.
- It works in close tandem with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
- WFP also works in collaboration with several national and global non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
- It is a member of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It is headed by an Executive Director, who is jointly appointed by the Secretary-General of the UN and the Director-General of the FAO.
WFP Focus Areas
- Climate action
- Disaster risk reduction
- Gender equality
- Smallholder market support
- Social protection and safety nets
- Sustainable livelihoods and ecosystems
Objectives of World Food Programme (WFP)
- WFP focuses on emergency assistance as well as rehabilitation and development aid.
- Two-thirds of its work is in conflict-affected countries, where people are three times more likely to be undernourished than elsewhere.
- To end hunger by protecting access to food. Zero hunger 2030.
- Supporting the SDG implementation and partnering for its results.
- Improving nutrition and achieving food security.
- It works closely with the other two Rome-based UN agencies:
- The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which helps countries draw up policy and change legislation to support sustainable agriculture
- The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), which finances projects in poor rural areas.
WFP and India
WFP has been functioning in India since 1963.
- It supports the Government of India in its various food safety initiatives.
- Earlier, the focus of the organisation in India was in food distribution. But, as India has steadily gained in the area of cereal production, the organization has realigned its strategy towards technical assistance to the government in its related programmes.
- WFP is engaged in trying to improve the accountability, efficiency & transparency of the country’s own subsidized food distribution system, which brings supplies of rice, wheat, sugar and kerosene oil to around 800 million poor people across the country.
- Despite the country’s significant gains in poverty alleviation and per capita income levels, the malnutrition levels are unacceptably high. India ranks 102 out of 117 nations in the Global Hunger Index 2019.
- Apart from collaborating with governments in India, WFP also works with various NGOs in India.
- According to the country strategy plan for India (2019 – 2023), WFP aims to:
- Enable the most vulnerable people of India to meet their minimum food and nutrition requirements throughout the year.
- Enable people with a high risk of malnutrition, especially women, children and adolescent girls, to have improved nutrition by 2025.
Also read: National Food Security Act (NFSA)
Report Released by WFP
Global Report on Food Crisis– The Global Report on Food Crises describes the scale of acute hunger in the world. It provides an analysis of the drivers that are contributing to food crises across the globe.
- The report is produced by the Global Network against Food Crises, an international alliance working to address the root causes of extreme hunger.