- WFP is established
- The first development programme is launched in Sudan
- WFP is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
The World Food Programme is the largest humanitarian agency saving lives in emergencies and using assistance to help communities become self-sufficient and resilient to shocks.
Six decades fighting hunger
WFP Forced to Cut Back on Support
WFP is forced to drastically cut rations in most of its operations as international humanitarian funding falls sharply. The funding shortfall of over 60 percent is the highest in WFP’s history.
A Global Food Crisis Begins
It is the largest in modern history, with millions at risk from worsening hunger. The crisis calls for a global response to both the immediate needs and scale, and to the main drivers: the war in Ukraine, climate shocks and threat of global recession.
WFP Awarded Nobel Peace Prize
It recognizes WFP’s role in addressing food insecurity, improving conditions for peace and acting as a driving force to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.
COVID-19 Pandemic Upends World
It deepens poverty, hunger and malnutrition among the most vulnerable people across the globe. WFP adapts its operations to minimize the impact on 138 million people targeted for assistance.
Yemen War: One of the World’s Largest Humanitarian Crises
WFP reaches 9 million hungry people in Yemen in 2015. By 2021, WFP assistance for over 13 million people stands between them and possible famine.
Food Arrives in Ebola Response
WFP feeds over 3 million people affected by the West African Ebola virus. WFP also helps 22,000 survivors while coordinating logistics and working with medical, humanitarian and government partners.
Horn of Africa Drought Triggers Emergency
WFP feeds 1.5 million people across the region, as conflict and insecurity intensify the challenges and Somalia tips into famine.
Long, Gruelling Syria Conflict Starts
As fighting kills thousands of people and displaces millions, WFP scales up its emergency response in the region. Despite significant challenges, WFP provides life-saving food and assistance to people in Syria and those fleeing to countries including Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.
Help Arrives for 4.5 Million Victims of Haiti Quake
Over 230,000 people are killed and 2.3 million forced from their homes when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake strikes Haiti. From February to April, WFP provides food to 4.5 million people.
Vouchers and Cash-Based Assistance Launch
Both enable people to buy the food of their choice in markets, rather than receiving rations at distributions. This strengthens local economies and leads people to use mobile phone vouchers and e-cards.
WFP Takes Leadership of Humanitarian Logistics
The UN asks WFP to lead emergency logistics for all UN agencies and NGOs. This coordination ensures the humanitarian community has crucial, immediate and reliable logistical support to save lives.
Deadly Tsunami Triggers Need for Global Support
WFP launches a massive relief operation for survivors of the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, which affected 14 countries.
WFP-Operated United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) Takes Flight
More than two decades later, it now annually transports hundreds of thousands of humanitarian workers – as well as life-saving cargo – to the world’s most challenging places.
Largest Single Humanitarian Effort in Iraq
Following the war in Iraq, WFP feeds a record 27.1 million people there during a seven-month period.
Hurricane Mitch Hammers Central America
Hurricane Mitch, one of the deadliest Atlantic hurricanes, leaves nearly 20,000 people dead or missing in Central America. WFP dispatches food to assist over 600,000 people in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Supplies Reach Survivors and Refugees of Rwandan Genocide
Mass killings send 3 million people fleeing into Zaire, Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi. WFP delivers food via air and road, and helps play a key role in rebuilding Rwanda.
Emergency Relief for Europe’s Worst Humanitarian Crisis Since WW2
As war rips apart the former Yugoslavia, WFP provides food for hundreds of thousands of people.
‘Operation Lifeline Sudan’ Saves Lives
Leading a consortium of UN agencies and charities alongside UNICEF, WFP airdrops 1.5 million mt of food on war-torn and drought-afflicted regions of what is now South Sudan. It is the largest humanitarian airdrop in history.
Worst Famine in 100 Years Hits Ethiopia
Images of starvation shock the world, prompting action with “Band Aid” and “Live Aid” fundraising events. From 1983 to 1985, WFP delivers 2 million mt of assistance.
WFP Heads Relief Operation for Cambodian Refugees
WFP heads its first multinational inter-agency relief operation, leading efforts to assist 370,000 Cambodian refugees who have fled to Thailand to escape violence in their homeland.
WFP Leads UN Emergency Relief Airdrops
Over 30 cargo aircraft take part in a three-year operation, which includes camel trains, in Africa’s western Sahel, where years of drought have hit countries that are home to 25 million people.
WFP Begins Its Development Mission
Construction of the Aswan High Dam on the Nile in southern Egypt leads to the resettlement of 50,000 Nubian people. Over four years, WFP provides food to help Nubians while developing their new lands.
School Meals Launch in Togo
Starting by delivering to 5,000 children in Togo, WFP becomes the world’s largest school meals provider, serving healthy food to millions of learners. The overall goal is to hand programmes over to local governments.
First Operation Under Way
When an earthquake in Iran kills over 12,000 people, WFP steps up to provide wheat, sugar and tea.
WFP Is Born
A UN General Assembly resolution officially establishes WFP as a joint UN/FAO effort.