OUAGADOUGOU – The Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), Ertharin Cousin, will travel to Burkina Faso from 13 to 15 March 2013. Cousin will visit the country on the invitation of the President of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaoré, whom she met in October 2012 at the Forum on International Cooperation in Milan, Italy.
Cousin’s trip comes one year after humanitarian agencies, including WFP, scaled up assistance in response to the food and nutrition emergency in the Sahel region of West Africa, which includes Burkina Faso. While the response averted a deeper crisis, the region is still marked by high levels of food and nutrition insecurity as well as by the effects of conflict in Mali. Burkina Faso currently hosts more than 47,000 Malian refugees.
Cousin will visit several WFP activities, such as school meals, nutrition programmes and projects that benefit smallholder farmers. She will also have the opportunity to meet communities who have benefited from these projects.
While in Burkina Faso, Cousin will meet representatives from other UN agencies that are part of the UN Country Team system, representatives from WFP’s technical and financial partners and representatives from non-governmental organizations. In addition, she will meet with Government representatives to discuss WFP’s operations in the country.
WFP’s Regional Director for West Africa, Thomas Yanga, who is based in Dakar, Senegal, will join Cousin in Burkina Faso.
For insight into Cousin’s response to the Sahel emergency, please visit her recent blog posting on the topic: http://www.wfp.org/ed-ecousin/blog/dont-forget-about-sahel-babies
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