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Record Contributions From Belgium Support WFP Innovation & Emergency Response

BRUSSELS/ROME - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has recognized the Government of Belgium’s substantial contributions in 2016, a year in which the Belgian Development Cooperation (DGCD) has donated more than €28 million to WFP projects reaching nearly 8 million people in eight countries.

“The Government of Belgium is a valued partner for WFP,” said Krystyna Bednarska, Director of WFP Brussels Office. “In yet another year of unprecedented needs, Belgium has answered the call to ensure the humanitarian community can reach those left furthest behind first, supporting innovative approaches and coordinated responses.”

In 2016 WFP and Belgium further strengthened cooperation in key areas, particularly in innovation, aiming to use new technologies in the fight against hunger. Belgium contributed €500,000 to a pilot project to further develop and use an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV – commonly known as drone) coordination model for humanitarian emergency preparedness and response.

Fostering technological innovation to serve the world’s most vulnerable people can transform lives and address the root causes of hunger. Belgium has supported WFP’s Mobile Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (mVAM) system since 2014. Using mobile phone technology, mVAM enables WFP teams to carry out assessments in real-time in remote areas or conflict zones, in addition to providing people in need with a direct link to assistance.

As the third largest donor in 2016 to WFP’s Immediate Response Account (IRA), and the second largest donor since 2010, Belgium has proven its commitment to saving lives when disaster strikes. The IRA is a funding facility which provides predictable and flexible resources so that WFP can respond immediately to disasters, wherever and whenever they occur.

“WFP and Belgium nourish a fruitful partnership, with WFP ranking this year as our second humanitarian partner in terms of funding. The humanitarian community needs more than ever an organization such as WFP and Belgium is ready to continue contributing to WFP’s excellent humanitarian work in the field of food assistance, logistics, and innovation,” said Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium and Minister of Development Cooperation.

Furthermore, by contributing nearly €6 million to the WFP-managed United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), Belgium’s funding is strategic in ensuring the delivery of safe, reliable and cost-efficient air services to the entire humanitarian community.

Belgium’s support has helped WFP respond to crises in Afghanistan, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lebanon, Mali, Niger, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and South Sudan. Donors like Belgium help WFP provide in-kind and cash assistance to vulnerable families during times of crisis, keep children in school, and improve livelihoods with the aim of achieving a world with zero hunger.

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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 (email address:
Aneta Szczyglowska, WFP/Brussels, Tel. +32  (0)2 500 09 10
Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65132321, Mob. +39 346 7600521