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​World Bank and WFP map joint strategy for tackling humanitarian and development challenges

WASHINGTON – The leaders of the World Bank and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) have laid out an ambitious new plan to work together in the fight against extreme poverty and hunger.

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and WFP Executive Director David Beasley on Wednesday joined forces to knock down the practical and ideological barriers between “humanitarian” and “development” assistance to better tackle the complex challenges the world faces.

“By 2030, we estimate that half of the world’s extreme poor will live in fragile and conflict-affected countries,” Kim said. “If we are serious about ending poverty, we have to work closely with humanitarian organizations such as the World Food Programme. The framework we’re signing today builds on our respective strengths and demonstrates our commitment to work together to make sure no one is left behind.”

“Hunger is dramatically on the rise and millions of people are suffering. The world can’t afford to sit back and watch us work separately on these problems. Today signals an end to the siloed way of doing things and the beginning of WFP and the World Bank working closely together – regardless of who gets the credit – to fight hunger and poverty and increase stability and sustainability,” said Beasley of WFP.

While the World Bank and WFP share a vision of a world without extreme poverty and hunger, their approaches to tackling those problems in the past have been very different. Kim and Beasley on Wednesday signed a groundbreaking new framework to combine their organizations’ efforts in new ways, offering concrete guidance and support to help World Bank and WFP teams work together in countries across the globe.

The strategic partnership framework – the first of its kind between the two institutions – identifies nine priority areas where the combination of the World Bank’s analytic and financial expertise and WFP’s unparalleled operational footprint can have the most powerful effect together in reducing hunger and extreme poverty. They include, but are not limited to: increased cooperation in fragile, conflict or violence-affected contexts; enhancing collaboration on social protection; supporting digital identity management systems; supporting school meals, health and nutrition programs; and joining forces to prevent childhood stunting in contexts where humanitarian and development agendas intersect.

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The World Bank Group is one of the world's largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world. For more information, please visit www.worldbank.org, www.miga.org, and www.ifc.org.

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

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For more information please contact:

Challiss McDonough, WFP/Washington, Mob. +1 202 774 4026, email: challiss.mcdonough@wfp.org

Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 6513 2321, Mob. +39 346 7600521, email: jane.howard@wfp.org

Yoko Kobayashi, World Bank Group, Tel. +1 202 468 6851, email: ykobayashi2@worldbankgroup.org

[Broadcast requests] Huma Imtiaz, World Bank Group, Tel. +1 202 473 2409, himtiaz@worldbankgroup.org