WFP And OCHA Join Forces To Make Data More Accessible

Published on 14 May 2015

Photo copyright: WFP/Greg Barrow

ROME / NEW YORK - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) have teamed up to provide access to global data on hunger and food insecurity. The data can be used to understand the type of food available in certain markets, how families cope in the face of food insecurity and how WFP provides food assistance in emergencies to those in need.

The data is being made available through OCHA’s Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX), an open platform for sharing crisis data. The collaboration between WFP, the world’s largest humanitarian organization fighting hunger worldwide, and OCHA began at the height of the Ebola crisis when WFP shared its data on food market prices in affected countries in West Africa.

With funding from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, WFP has since been able to make large amounts of its data available dynamically, making it easier to integrate with other systems, including HDX.

From there, HDX built an interactive visualization for Food Prices data that allows a range of users, from the general public to a data scientist, to explore the data in insightful ways. The same visualization is also available on the WFP VAM Shop.

"It is of paramount importance that food security and food assistance information is regularly collected and widely disseminated. This partnership with OCHA on HDX is an important aspect of WFP’s broader initiative on Open Data and transparency,” said Arif Husain, WFP’s Chief Economist and Head of Food Security Analysis Service.

“We believe that our partnership with OCHA HDX is a major milestone in improving peoples' access to credible and timely information for the design and implementation of national food security programs, policies and projects,” he added.

“We are excited to see WFP’s data come to life on the HDX site,” said Gwi-Yeop Son, Director of Corporate Programmes at OCHA. “Making this data more accessible will lead to increased awareness of the ways in which people access food and survive in difficult environments. More awareness of evidence-based data leads to informed decisions and ultimately more lives saved.”

#                              #                                 #

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 75 countries.
Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media  

The mission of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is to mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors. The goal of the Humanitarian Data Exchange is to make data easy to find and use for analysis.
Follow us on Twitter on @humdata

For more information please contact:

WFP: Peter Smerdon, Tel: +39 06 6513 2150  Mob: + 39 342 878 4107  
Email: peter.smerdon@wfp.org

UNOCHA: Sarah Telford, OCHA NY, +917-294-7021, telford@un.org