Remarks by Ertharin Cousin at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – WFP Photo Exhibit at the United Nations Headquarters, New York

Delivered on: 27 September 2012

A Blessing to be Shared

Your Royal Highness, Mr. Secretary General, Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

The exhibit before us serves to illustrate how working together, we succeed in the fight against hunger and undernutrition. These photographs show beneficiaries of WFP programmes in nutrition, emergency response, resilience building, women’s empowerment, mother and child health, and school meals in countries across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.  The exhibit showcases the effective impact of partnerships – partnerships with governments, NGOs, the private sector, and community-based organizations.  Together, we have achieved results that have impacted the lives of millions of hungry and undernourished people.

Our partner, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a champion in the fight against hunger, a global leader for development and humanitarian relief efforts.  Through five decades of partnership with WFP, Saudi Arabia has contributed over US$1 billion.  In 2008, at the height of the food crisis, Saudi Arabia donated US$500 million to WFP – the single largest cash donation ever made to a UN agency. 

Your Royal Highness, Excellency, to you we say thank you on behalf of the hungry poor around the world that you helped serve.  We convey through you our deepest gratitude and appreciation to His Majesty King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.

Our work is far from over.  There are today nearly 1 billion people in the world suffering from food insecurity and 170,000 chronically malnourished children.

WFP depends on strong, sustained partnerships with all of you and the government and non-governmental institutions in your countries.  Our close collaboration with UN sister agencies is key to our success in delivering urgent emergency food assistance and to building resilience where it is most needed.  We depend on one another to get this job done. 

Food is a blessing to be shared. Together we will save lives and strengthen livelihoods. We will end hunger in our time.

Thank you for your support and thank you again for joining us today.