Amid international concern about soaring food and fuel costs, the Executive Director of the World Food Programme, Josette Sheeran, will visit Ethiopia from 1-2 April – a year after her inaugural visit in April 2007 – and Kenya from 2-3 April.
On 1 April, Sheeran will address the joint African Union (AU) and Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) conference of Africa Ministers of Finance and Economic Planning on the impact of spiralling food and fuel prices in Africa. The joint AU/ECA conference in Addis Ababa is the main event in a year-long commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the ECA
While in Ethiopia, Sheeran is expected to visit a wheat distribution centre in Addis Ababa where she will talk to urban dwellers affected by rising food prices, and to grain traders – hearing first-hand how the situation has developed since her trip one year ago.
On 2 April, Sheeran leaves for Kenya. During her two-day trip, she will again focus on the impact of rising food prices on people, and will visit WFP’s current operations, including those in response to post-election violence.
On her first official field mission as Executive Director one year ago, Sheeran travelled to Ethiopia between 23 and 25 April.
She visited the Ehil Berenda Grain Market in Addis Ababa and spoke to economists, traders and market experts at two round table discussions on local food assistance procurement, and its potential for making a positive impact on human development.
In Kenya, Ms. Sheeran will visit people displaced by the post-election violence in the Rift Valley town of Naivasha on 2 April.
On 3 April, she will visit an HIV/AIDS clinic supported by WFP and a school that gives children a mid-morning snack and lunch made from WFP food in the Nairobi slum of Kibera. She will also hold talks with grain and cereal traders and small farmers’ groups in Nairobi.