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By adopting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the international community has signalled its determination to transform lives to an unprecedented degree by 2030. This commitment extends to reaching SDG 2, on achieving Zero Hunger, and SDG 17, on partnering to support implementation of the SDGs, goals that require extraordinary levels of technical know-how and operational capability to achieve. While responsibility for eradicating hunger and malnutrition lies with the national governments, WFP has committed to working with them as they advance toward fulfilling these goals.

Multiple contingencies complicate the picture. Nations are at varying stages of overall development, with different economic systems, social and demographic profiles, poverty levels, or agricultural and food distribution capacities. Some countries are at peace; others, at war. Protracted conflict, as seen in Syria, has a vastly detrimental effect on food security.

Mass population displacement raises immense logistical difficulties: as some nations’ population shrinks, their neighbours’ swells. Even in peaceful settings, the SDGs’ new emphasis on nutrition overlays the traditional pursuit of plentiful food with a focus on the quality of it. And while the interlocking of global and local challenges is peculiar to each country, the 2030 Agenda – as the world’s blueprint for development has become known – is the responsibility of all.

This is why the World Food Programme (WFP) is radically rethinking its approach to combatting hunger and malnutrition. We are adapting and differentiating our strategies, methodologies and solutions to meet distinct national needs. While our programmes have always been inclusive, we now systematically put national stakeholders in the driving seat, with ourselves as enablers. And where our interventions have often been discrete, we now aim to ensure that all programming, in any one country, is strategically coordinated to help that country achieve Zero Hunger.

This new approach, more integrated and diversified, is implemented through Country Strategic Plans (CSPs). Each CSP is designed to be unique. It will incorporate a Country Office’s entire humanitarian and development portfolio, subsuming all programmes and projects into clearly defined Strategic Outcomes.

It will be informed by a country-led Zero Hunger Strategic Review, outlining the contributions of all stakeholders, including WFP’s distinct value proposition, for the achievement of SDG 2. It will take its cue from the priorities set by the country in question, following evaluations, assessments and consultations; involving government, development and humanitarian agencies, institutional actors and civil society. Flexible budgeting will enhance the seamless integration of any emergency interventions.

Expected to be designed for a period of up to 5 years, the Country Strategic Plans allow WFP to overcome a legacy of programme fragmentation, internal coordination gaps and high transaction costs, while further aligning interventions with those of our sister agencies, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), as well as UNICEF and other donors and partners.