WFP Harnesses Private Sector Support To Improve Nutrition In Rural Laos

Published on 23 November 2011

Eight fundraising champions of the 2010 World Hunger Relief campaign, organised by YUM! Brands, have seen for themselves the impact of their donations to the United Nations World Food Programme’s (WFP) projects in Laos.

VIENTIANE-- Restaurant managers from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia travelled to Luangnamtha province to visit WFP school meals programmes. They also talked to women and health centre staff about the benefits of WFP’s nutrition education initiative Feeding the Future and its Mother and Child Health and Nutrition activities.

“Here in Laos, YUM! has contributed more than US$2 million to help WFP provide a daily mid-morning snack to primary school children in six provinces and to enable  WFP to expand Feeding the Future, a nutrition education project that has reached more than 100 villages and is still growing,” said Eri Kudo, WFP Representative in Lao PDR. “By providing children with the food they need to develop their physical and mental potential, these projects ensure that children receive an education and act as an important investment in breaking the cycle of poverty and hunger.”

Through its annual World Hunger Relief campaign, YUM! and its brands KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Long John Silver’s and A&W All-American Food raise funds and awareness and encourage employee volunteerism for WFP. The campaign, which is the world’s largest consumer outreach effort supporting hunger relief, spans 110 countries and includes the participation of 37,000 restaurants and more than one million employees and franchise associates from around the globe.

The eight restaurant managers visiting Laos were the most successful fundraisers in South-East Asia during the 2010 World Hunger Relief campaign. Globally, the campaign raised more than US$46.4 million for WFP’s work in regions of greatest need, reaching more than 6.7 million people in 39 countries.

"YUM! has set an ambitious goal to become the ‘Defining Global Company that Feeds the World,’ and the visit to Lao PDR demonstrates our continued commitment to this goal,” said Paolo Nicolas, Director for Marketing for YUM! Brands in the Asia Region. “We are inspired by this visit to raise more support for WFP and the Government of Lao to help them reach their objective to improve nutrition in this country, especially for children."

WFP’s global fight against hunger involves collaboration between governments, UN agencies, NGOs and the private sector. In 2010, the private sector was the sixth-largest donor to WFP; working with the private sector also allows WFP to raise awareness of its work and issues surrounding hunger to millions of people it would otherwise not reach. These partnerships help WFP create cost-effective, sustainable solutions to hunger by combining WFP’s expertise and knowledge with companies’ resources and technical support.