[Editor’s note: after this press release was issued, the itinerary of Executive Director Cousin’s trip was revised. Her planned visit to Zimbabwe was postponed and her trip reduced to eight days, due to scheduling changes which required high-level meetings in Harare to be moved to a future date, yet to be determined.]
ROME – The UN World Food Programme’s Executive Director Ertharin Cousin is scheduled to depart tomorrow on a 10-day visit to four African countries. Her trip to Zimbabwe, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda will focus on hunger challenges and on WFP-supported local solutions that are helping battle under nutrition and build sustainable food security.
Cousin travels first to Zimbabwe, where she will visit a hospital where WFP provides specialized food and vouchers to help malnourished mothers, children and HIV or TB patients regain weight, strength and the ability to live their lives normally. Zimbabwe is facing a worrying food security situation this year due to poor rains and reduced harvests.
She will then visit South Africa briefly before travelling on to Democratic Republic of Congo, where WFP is supporting more than one million people displaced by conflict in the east.
Cousin’s final stop is Rwanda, where in addition to meeting refugees from eastern Congo who are being assisted by WFP, she will visit a community land terracing project and programmes helping vulnerable families and small-scale farmers lift themselves out of poverty.
In Southern Africa, WFP is purchasing an increasing amount of food locally from small-scale farmers under initiatives to boost productivity and strengthen farmers’ ties to food markets.
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WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Last year, WFP reached more than 97 million people in 80 countries with food assistance.
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