EU Contributed Over €1 Billion to WFP In The Fight Against Hunger in 2017

Published on 31 January 2018

In October 2017, the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid, Christos Stylianides, spoke to WFP staff while in Sudan, one of WFP’s most complex operations, where over 3 million people require food assistance. Photo: WFP/Alaa Kheir

BRUSSELS - Last year, the European Commission contributed over €1 billion to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), making it the second-largest donor to the agency in 2017. Millions of people across 48 countries had better access to lifesaving and nutritious food thanks to the European Union’s (EU) commitment to fight hunger worldwide. 

A record €650 million – the single largest contribution ever to a WFP operation – went to the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) programme in Turkey. The ground-breaking programme provides monthly cash-assistance to more than one million refugees – mostly Syrians – living in Turkey. EU support empowers people with the ability to cover basic needs – anything from food and rent to medicine or clothing.   

“At this most critical time, the European Union has shown leadership, dedication and a steadfast commitment to saving lives,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley. “We at WFP are enormously grateful for the record contributions from the EU over the past two years, and we look forward to continuing to work together so no one is left behind.”

Over €116 million in EU funding last year was critical in fighting famine where conflict and severe drought threatened millions of lives in Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen and north-eastern Nigeria. In Yemen, where 17 million people continue to face the world’s largest hunger crisis, €53 million of this amount was allocated to provide vital food assistance, and was also critical in ensuring access for WFP and other humanitarian organisations through the WFP-managed United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) and maritime operations.

EU funding has also been crucial to create a better and healthier future for children, particularly by helping WFP to provide nutrition support for pregnant and nursing mothers, as well as children under five. EU-financed school meals helped thousands of children to stay in school and grow healthy and strong.    

Thanks to the EU’s generosity, WFP supported vulnerable communities with in-kind food assistance where climate disasters and conflict devastated crops and markets, while innovative cash assistance provided families the flexibility to purchase the food and goods they needed most. Air and logistics support funded by the EU helped WFP and other relief agencies reach people even in the most remote places. 

The EU has continued to be an essential partner in finding ways to tackle the root causes of hunger. Last year, WFP, the EU and other partners published the Global Report on Food Crises, a publication geared to help decision-makers to recognize and address food insecurity before crises occur. 

Overall, the EU and its Member States combined constitute WFP’s largest donor, contributing over €2.7 billion in 2017.   

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

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For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Aneta Szczyglowska, WFP/Brussels, Tel. +32 (0)2 500 09 10
David Orr, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 6513 3179, Mob. +39 340 246 6831