On World Food Day, WFP Emphasizes Commitment to Supporting the Most Vulnerable
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Published on 16 October 2012

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) honours World Food Day (16 October) by reaffirming its dedication to work with communities, civil society, governments and the private sector to end hunger in our lifetimes.

Mbabane – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) honours World Food Day (16 October) by reaffirming its dedication to work with communities, civil society, governments and the private sector to end hunger in our lifetimes.

Over the last year, communities on almost every continent have felt the devastating impacts of high food prices, natural disasters, climate emergencies and conflict, which have exacerbated hunger and poverty. Fortunately, working with partners across the globe WFP’s food assistance has brought hope and relief to millions.

“WFP faces many challenges as we work to ensure that the hungry poor receive the right food at the right time,” says WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin. “From the Sahel region stricken by the third drought in recent years, to unrest in the Middle East, to communities whose imported staple foods have become inaccessibly expensive, WFP delivers life-saving food assistance where it is needed most.”

In 2011, WFP reached almost 100 million people in 75 countries, including over 11 million children who received special nutritional support and 23 million children who received school meals or take-home rations.

“Here in Swaziland, WFP is supporting the Government by providing school meals to about 250,000 children in 578 public primary schools to ensure they concentrate on their lessons and learn on a full stomach,” says WFP Swaziland Country Director a.i. Nils Grede.

“Together with the Swaziland National Nutrition Council, WFP also provides food to about 8,000 malnourished patients on anti-retroviral and tuberculosis treatment to improve their nutrition status so the ART/TB medication can work more effectively and also ensure they adhere to the treatment programmes.”

The theme of this year’s World Food Day is “Agricultural cooperatives—key to feeding the world.” WFP works with agricultural cooperatives and farmers organizations in many countries around the world, providing training to help improve crop quality, strengthen business practices and increase access to markets. In particular, WFP’s Purchase for Progress (P4P) pilot project has worked with more than 800 farmers’ organizations, comprised of more than one million smallholder farmers, in 20 countries to build capacity and maximize developmental impact of food procurement.

WFP celebrates World Food Day along with its sister UN food agencies, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The three Rome-based agencies often work closely together to invest in and boost the production of smallholder farmers and increase people’s access to nutritious food.

“WFP’s work in Swaziland goes beyond giving hungry people food. We also assist the Government by improving its capacity to implement food assistance programmes on its own so that hungry, poor Swazis can always receive the right food, at the right time,” says Grede.  “We in WFP believe solving hunger builds the brains and bodies of the next generation. It also contributes towards boosting economic development. But this can only happen if we – government, private sector, citizens – work together to make it happen.”


WFP celebrates World Food Day along with its sister UN food agencies, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The three Rome-based agencies often work closely together to invest in and boost the production of smallholder farmers and increase people’s access to nutritious food.

“WFP’s work in Swaziland goes beyond giving hungry people food. We also assist the Government by improving its capacity to implement food assistance programmes on its own so that hungry, poor Swazis can always receive the right food, at the right time,” says Grede.  “We in WFP believe solving hunger builds the brains and bodies of the next generation. It also contributes towards boosting economic development. But this can only happen if we – government, private sector, citizens – work together to make it happen.”