WFP at Davos 2014: Highlights

Global leaders are meeting in Davos, Switzerland, to discuss the world's most pressing issues at the World Economic Forum. WFP is there because hunger is one of those issues and because a world with zero hunger is everyone’s business.

Highlights of our activities will be posted on this page every day.


Message from Queen Máxima of the Netherlands

Monday, 27 January 2014

When it comes to achieving Zero Hunger, financial inclusion is essential. Even something as simple as a bank account can change the future for a small-holder farmer, explains Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, the UN Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development.

While Queen Maxima was not at Davos, she recorded this message in support of the Zero Hunger Challenge.


Photo Gallery: Zero Hunger Declaration Signed in Davos

Friday, 24 January 2014
Ban Ki-moon speaking at WFP Conference

Yesterday in Davos, global leaders, including the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, committed their support for the Zero Hunger Challenge at an event hosted by WFP. Signatories also included the UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, Unilever CEO Paul Polman, DSM CEO Feike Sijbesma and many others.

By signing the Zero Hunger Declaration, global leaders showed their commitment to actively work to eradicate hunger, to encourage others to join activities to take the challenge, to advocate for actions and policies that achieve Zero Hunger, and to hold themselves accountable to deliver on their promises.

Check out our photo gallery of the event.


Message from Nigerian Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Friday, 24 January 2014

Nigerian Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala discusses her commitment to the Zero Hunger Challenge and the importance of eradicating hunger.


Message from USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah

Friday, 24 January 2014

USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah is one of many global leaders who signed the Zero Hunger Declaration. Here, he affirms his commitment.


Second day round-up from Davos

Thurs, 23 January 2014

Ertharin Cousin walking with two other global leadersGlobal leaders at the World Economic Forum pledged support for the Zero Hunger Challenge at an event attended by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, and WFP head Ertharin Cousin.

“We are here to make a commitment to achieving zero hunger. I have seen such progress with my own eyes, in my own country, in my own lifetime. And we have evidence of success in many other places,” the Secretary-General said.

By signing the Zero Hunger Declaration the attendees showed their commitment to work on improving people’s access to nutritious food around the globe. Among those signing were the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, USAID Administrator Raj Shah, the CEO of Unilever Paul Polman, the CEO of DSM Feike Sijbesma and many others.

At the same event in the WFP tent, three individuals received the WFP Hunger Hero Award, which recognizes their leadership in addressing the challenges of ending hunger. This year’s awardees were Sam Dryden, Senior Fellow at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Marc Van Ameringen, Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN); and Dr. Shenggen Fan, Director General of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). (Photo above right shows Dryden, Cousin and David Nabarro, special representative of the Secretary General.)

Earlier in the day WFP held a Live Twitter Chat from Davos. Participants included WFP nutritionist Martin Bloem and representatives from two of  our key private sector partners, DSM and Unilever. The interactive Q&A was screened on various displays throughout Davos. You can see a summary here:

Also on Thursday, WFP and GAIN hosted a high-level session that outlined the role of the private sector, civil society and governments in fighting malnutrition worldwide. The discussions focused on scaling up nutrition and the “business case” for investing in nutrition (see more details further down this blog).


Twitter Chat On Private Sector's Role In Zero Hunger

Thurs, 23 January 2014

Ad stating UN World Food Programme, DSM and Unilever will hold a LIVE Twitter Chat from World Economic Forum in Davos Earlier today WFP, along with two of its key private sector partners, Royal DSM and Unilever, held a live twitter chat from Davos. The discussion focused on zero hunger and how the private sector can help to achieve it. Royal DSM and Unilever are both committed to the Zero Hunger Challenge, which encourages everyone - whether in government, business or civil society - to focus their energies on ending hunger in our lifetime.

The chat touched upon the crucial roles of fortified food, hygiene, and small-scale farmers in ending hunger, among other topics. For an overview of the discussion, check out our Storify of the chat.


Message from Unilever CEO Paul Polman

Thurs, 23 January 2014

Unilever, one of the world's leading consumer goods companies, has helped to raise awareness and funds for WFP since 2007. It supports WFP school meals, mother and child health and nutrition programmes, emergency preparedness and emergency response. Here’s CEO Paul Polman’s message for Davos.


Message from DSM CEO Feike Sijbesma

Thurs, 23 January 2014

DSM, a world leader in the field of nutrition, is one of WFP's Global Humanitarian Partners. The company has been helping WFP in the area of nutrition for several years and is on board with the Zero Hunger Challenge, as CEO Feike Sijbesma explains in this special message for Davos. 


The Business Case for Scaling Up Nutrition

Thurs, 23 January 2014

Ertharin Cousin and David Nabarro speaking at a podiumThis morning, WFP and GAIN hosted a high-level session that outlined the role of the private sector, civil society and governments in fighting malnutrition worldwide. The discussions focused on scaling up nutrition and the “business case” for investing in nutrition.

Participants included WFP Executive Director, Ertharin Cousin, David Nabarro (UN Special Representative on Food Security and Nutrition), Paul Polman (CEO Unilever), Feike Sijbesma (CEO DSM) and Marc Van Ameringen (Executive Director GAIN). The WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin reminded the audience of the high price the world is paying for stunting: malnutrition devastates economic growth for the individual and their nations.

Marc van Ameringen of GAIN, together with David Nabarro, made a strong plea for more companies to join the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Business Network. They agreed that in order to reduce stunting and realize a world with zero hunger, nutrition should be at the centre of business development. "We need champions to show the way, like DSM, Unilever and Cargill", van Ameringen said. The participants set an ambitious goal: 99 business companies should join the network by 2015.


First day round-up from Davos

Wed, 22 January 2014

man standing in front of WFP logo

The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum is under way and the WFP team is on the ground, engaging with government leaders, CEOs and aid experts. Here is a quick look at the first day in Davos and what is top-of-mind for us at WFP.

The WFP tent was immediately put to good use as the UN Foundation hosted a high-level discussion with speakers including Sir Richard Branson, Kathy Calvin, Gary White and Matt Damon (see photo right), Chris Elias, Hannah Jones and Kumi Naidoo. The discussion was about how the new models of philanthropy that are emerging can help us shape our world in coming decades.

Meanwhile, our Executive Director, Ertharin Cousin, attended a WEF event on how to boost investment in sustainable growth for African agriculture. Participants included the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in Nigeria, Justine Greening of DFID, Jeffrey Sachs and the President of Tanzania among many others. The WFP head led the table-discussion around the topic of improving value chains through regional markets and trade. Another important theme was how to engage small-holder farmers as business partners.

One important development announced here today was that 40 global companies have now joined together to take global action against malnutrition. These companies are committed to reaching over 127 million women and children with improved nutrition every year by 2020. The group is aiming to increase its membership to 99 by 2015. "No single organization, no single government can act alone to achieve the goal of ending hunger and global malnutrition,” said Ertharin Cousin. “Working together, we have the ability to establish powerful partnerships that change the global landscape...until no one goes hungry.” Read more here.


WFP's Tent at Davos

Wed, 22 January 2014

Zero Hunger Challenge poster on site in Davos

Here's WFP's base at Davos  - the tent which will host a series of events and meetings organised the theme of Zero Hunger. Our participation in WEF was made possible by the generous support of 14 sponsors: DSM, Unilever, Agility Logistics, Cargill, GAIN, KPMG, Edelman, Kemin, CIFF, OVG, Maison van den Boer, de Boer, Hypsos and the WEF itself. A big thanks to them all!



10th year at Davos!

Wed, 22 January 2014

WFP opens its tenth year at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos today! In one way or another, we'll be working to highlight the message that ‘Zero Hunger’ is everyone’s business. We are convinced that a world free of hunger within our lifetime can only be achieved with the combined contribution of business, government and members of the public around the world.

The WEF is a unique event where innovative ideas and partnerships are born. So our Executive Director Ertharin Cousin will be joining partners here to leverage public and private sector opportunities for achieving Zero Hunger. Read news release