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Senior UN official highlights new tools to provide food aid to fragile countries

Article / Review by on December 1, 2011 – 8:24 pmNo Comments

Senior UN official highlights new tools to provide food aid to fragile countries

WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran

WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran

1 December 2011 – The head of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) stressed today the importance of providing more support to fragile countries, adding that new agreements reached during this week’s aid effectiveness forum in the Republic of Korea (ROK) would help build trust and achieve better results for vulnerable populations.

“In fragile States, food-based safety nets and food and nutrition security are an essential tool in building peace and security and in protecting the most marginalized,” Executive Director Josette Sheeran said in her remarks at the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, held in Busan.

“It is essential to build resiliency and bridge the gap between emergency measures and early recovery and development.”

Ms. Sheeran said a new deal for engaging with fragile countries had been agreed during the forum, adding that the WFP would be rolling out new technologies and tools to accelerate progress. These include the Purchase for Progress (P4P) programme, which works with small farmers to connect them to formal markets, increasing their revenues and stimulating agricultural production.

In addition, Ms. Sheeran said WFP is deploying other aid efficiency strategies such as the use of mobile phone technology to deliver food vouchers, developing locally-produced specialized foods which help prevent malnutrition in children, and investing in early warning systems to facilitate emergency response.

Echoing yesterday’s remarks by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the forum, Ms. Sheeran stressed the role of the private sector to help the world’s so-called “least developed countries,” or LDCs.

“The private sector is a vital partner in the fight against hunger and is now among WFP’s top 10 partners and donors. For example, through Project Laser Beam, WFP brings together the expertise of UN agencies with that of Fortune 500 companies, and others in the private sector, to work with local governments and companies to find new solutions to addressing child malnutrition,” she said.

The forum, which finished today, brought together representatives of governments, the private sector and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from around the world to discuss how to make aid more effective and helpful to those in need.

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1 December 2011

Statement By The World Food Programme ED Josette Sheeran At The Conclusion Of The High Level Forum On Aid Effectiveness In Busan, Republic Of Korea

 

At a critical time in the world, when resources are scarce but humanitarian needs remain acute, it has never been more important to do aid right. At the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), we believe in delivering the right aid, in the right place, at the right time, and to the right people. No matter how challenging the circumstances.

Here in Busan we have agreed on a New Deal for engagement in fragile states designed to build trust and to achieve better results – in short, to be more effective. For WFP – which works to provide food assistance in almost all the world’s fragile states – this means the need to continue providing life-saving humanitarian supplies in the most difficult environments, with the support of our donors, but always with a view to a transition to recovery and longer-term development.

Most of WFP’s work is in fragile states and we are committed to working in such challenging environments in the most effective and transparent manner possible. In fragile states, food based safety nets and food and nutrition security are an essential tool in building peace and security and in protecting the most marginalized. It is essential to build resiliency and bridge the gap between emergency measures and early recovery and development. WFP is deploying new tools such as Purchase for Progress (P4P) and local purchase in fragile states to help lift communities out of poverty, and support people in their efforts to improve their lives.

I believe P4P is as good an example as any of WFP’s new tools in action.  P4P works with smallholder farmers to connect them to formal markets, increasing revenues and stimulating agricultural production. It’s the kind of win-win, virtuous cycle we need more of in the aid and development worlds to build concrete results and ensure life-saving hand-outs turn into a hand up.

WFP strives to be at the cutting edge of innovation in aid efficiency and effectiveness, deploying new tools to empower the hungry to be self-reliant. This includes the use of mobile phone technology to deliver food vouchers, the development of locally-produced specialised foods which help prevent malnutrition in young children and investments in early warning systems which facilitate emergency response. All of these help build fledgling local food markets.

The private sector is a vital partner in the fight against hunger and is now among WFP’s top ten partners and donors. For example, through Project Laser Beam, WFP brings together the expertise of UN agencies with that of Fortune 500 companies, and others in the private sector, to work with local governments and companies to find new solutions to addressing child malnutrition. The project is currently a five-year trial in Bangladesh and Indonesia and is designed to be replicated in other countries where malnutrition is prevalent.

These are just some of the emerging tools we discussed in Busan that make WFP effective and accountable, and which confirm our belief that, together, we can end hunger in our lifetime.

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About United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)

Fighting hunger worldwide

Medicinezine.com United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Logo

The World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.

“In emergencies, we get food to where it is needed, saving the lives of victims of war, civil conflict and natural disasters. After the cause of an emergency has passed, we use food to help communities rebuild their shattered lives.”

WFP is part of the United Nations system and is voluntarily funded.

Born in 1961, WFP pursues a vision of the world in which every man, woman and child has access at all times to the food needed for an active and healthy life. We work towards that vision with our sister UN agencies in Rome — the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) — as well as other government, UN and NGO partners.

In 2011 we aim to reach more than 90 million people with food assistance in more than 70 countries. Around 10,000 people work for the organization, most of them in remote areas, directly serving the hungry poor.

WFP’s five objectives:

  1. Save lives and protect livelihoods in emergencies
  2. Prepare for emergencies
  3. Restore and rebuild lives after emergencies
  4. Reduce chronic hunger and undernutrition everywhere
  5. Strengthen the capacity of countries to reduce hunger

WFP’s Mission statement

WFP is the food aid arm of the United Nations system. Food aid is one of the many instruments that can help to promote food security, which is defined as access of all people at all times to the food needed for an active and healthy life. ¹ The policies governing the use of World Food Programme food aid must be oriented towards the objective of eradicating hunger and poverty. The ultimate objective of food aid should be the elimination of the need for food aid.

Targeted interventions are needed to help to improve the lives of the poorest people – people who, either permanently or during crisis periods, are unable to produce enough food or do not have the resources to otherwise obtain the food that they and their households require for active and healthy lives.

Consistent with its mandate, which also reflects the principle of universality, WFP will continue to:

  • use food aid to support economic and social development;
  • meet refugee and other emergency food needs, and the associated logistics support; and
  • promote world food security in accordance with the recommendations of the United Nations and FAO.

The core policies and strategies that govern WFP activities are to provide food aid:

  • to save lives in refugee and other emergency situations;
  • to improve the nutrition and quality of life of the most vulnerable people at critical times in their lives; and
  • to help build assets and promote the self-reliance of poor people and communities, particularly through labour-intensive works programmes.

Share food, change lives

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> United Nations (UN).

The General Assembly in session. Photo credit: UN / Eskinder Debebe The United Nations was established on 24 October 1945 by 51 countries committed to preserving peace through international cooperation and collective security. Today, nearly every nation in the world belongs to the UN: membership totals 192 countries.

When States become Members of the United Nations, they agree to accept the obligations of the UN Charter, an international treaty that sets out basic principles of international relations. According to the Charter, the UN has four purposes:

  • to maintain international peace and security;
  • to develop friendly relations among nations;
  • to cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights;
  • and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.

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* The above story is adapted from materials provided by United Nations (UN)
** More information at United Nations (UN)

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