Executive Director's Videos

SANA’A/ADEN - Seeing first-hand the challenges facing millions of people affected by the ongoing crisis in Yemen, the UN World Food Programme Executive Director Ertharin Cousin, warned that lack of immediate and unhindered access to people who urgently need food assistance and the shortage of funding create the possibility of famine for millions, mostly women and children already hungry in this war-torn country. During a three-day visit, Cousin, travelled to Sana’a, Amran and Aden. She met with displaced families taking refuge in school buildings, mothers and their young malnourished children at health centres and hospitals, as well as families at food distribution sites. She also held meetings with the authorities on both sides of the frontlines, WFP staff, UN sister agencies and NGO partners. WFP implores the entire global community to recognize the urgency of the Yemeni crisis.  Specifically calling on those who have made commitments to expeditiously fulfil their pledges. WFP is grateful the donors who have financially contributed or pledged support to the Yemen response including Germany, the USA, DFID, the UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

BEIRUT – The Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme Ertharin Cousin concluded a visit to Jordan and Lebanon on Thursday by calling upon the international community to continue support Syrian refugees displaced in neighbouring countries and appealing to the world not to forget this crisis. 

Major funding shortfalls forced the agency to cut food assistance by up to fifty percent.  During her four-day visit, Cousin met with Syrian refugees and government officials, bringing attention to the plight of millions facing extreme hardship as a result of these cuts. 

Since the beginning of the year, WFP has faced critical funding shortages that forced it to reduce the level of the assistance it provides to some 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt.

Just over a week after the earthquake, WFP has distributed food to more than 196,000 people, and has positioned supplies to feed about half a million people, in the worst-affected areas. The coming monsoon season means the clock is ticking to provide assistance to people who have lost everything. WFP is boosting its air and land assets to urgently reach more people, with both food and shelter, in the coming days. WFP urgently needs US$116.6 million to provide food for 1.4 million affected people for three months. For common services related to logistics, air transport and telecommunications, WFP requires another US$34 million over the next three months. ​Text transcript of this video

In South Sudan, 2.5 million people have started this year unsure of where their next meal is coming from, and we expect the situation will get worse with the start of the lean season in May. WFP is pre-positioning food before the rainy season makes more than half the country inaccessible by road. This reduces our reliance on costly air operations to reach people in need. All parties to the conflict must ensure the security of critically-needed food supplies. Text transcript of this video

At the end of a three-day visit to Sierra Leone, during which she met with government officials and key actors in the fight against Ebola, the UN World Food Programme Executive Director Ertharin Cousin today called upon partners all over the world to work together to address the critical needs of those affected by the health crisis. In support of a unified response under the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), WFP has to date provided food assistance to 1.3 million people and is ramping up services to the whole humanitarian effort in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.