The World Economic Forum, held in Davos, Switzerland, is a unique event where the world’s most pressing issues are discussed. This year was no exception, as the gathering presented an important opportunity to advocate for the needs of nearly 900 million people suffering from chronic hunger.
DAVOS--For the ninth year in a row, WFP travelled to Davos to engage with influential political, economic and business leaders and to cultivate the innovative ideas and partnerships that are required to meet the food and nutritional needs of the world’s most vulnerable people. WATCH: Why are people in Davos interested in WFP?
Calling attention to Syria
Executive Director Ertharin Cousin participated in a press conference to call attention to the humanitarian crisis in Syria and neighbouring countries, during which she highlighted the need for greater humanitarian access and for more resources. She was joined by Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos and H.E. Ahmet Davutoglu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey. WATCH: Reaching families in Syria
"Nourishing Bodies, Nourishing Minds"
WFP, UNICEF and UNESCO announced a renewed partnership that aims to improve access to quality education for many of the world’s most underserved children. The “Nourishing Bodies, Nourishing Minds” partnership will strengthen collaboration between the three agencies, beginning with a three-year pilot phase in Haiti, Mozambique, Niger and Pakistan – four countries particularly marked by high levels of malnutrition and low levels of schooling. The agencies will also seek to bring the private sector into the collaboration. SLIDESHOW: Nourishing Bodies, Nourishing Minds
First 1,000 days
DSM and Unilever hosted a high-level breakfast session, moderated by New York Times columnist Nick Kristof, that outlined the role of the private sector, civil society and governments in promoting proper nutrition. Discussion focused on the importance of the first 1,000 days of life, the “business case” for investing in nutrition and the need to keep nutrition on the post-2015 agenda for the Millennium Development Goals. Panellists included Cousin, Kevin Jenkins (CEO World Vision), 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 ). WATCH: The right to proper nutrition
WFP and DSM signed a new three-year agreement, strengthening their existing partnership to combat global malnutrition and seeking to double the number of people who benefit from their work together, from the current annual reach of 15 million to up to 30 million per year by 2015. DSM contributes its scientific expertise to help WFP improve the nutritional value of its food basket.
The way forward
Cousin joined Edelman, a global public relations firm, in a conversation that introduced her vision of the role of the private sector in solving hunger. Cousin told the audience that having the opportunity to attend the World Economic Forum – made possible by WFP’s sponsors – makes all the difference in developing new partnerships that contribute to the fight against hunger.