Statement from WFP Executive Director
ROME – Friends and Colleagues - I want you to be among the first to know that in the past few hours I have received confirmation, after testing, that I have the COVID-19 virus. I began feeling unwell this past weekend after returning to my home in the United States from an official visit to Canada and I took an early decision to go into self-quarantine, five days ago.
So far, my symptoms have been relatively light, and I am in good spirits. I am lucky to be close to my family and I have access to excellent medical support.
I am now urgently working with my team at WFP to trace back anyone who I might have been in close contact with at a time when I was unaware of my infection. We have already started the process of reaching out to alert each and every one of them so that they are made aware that there is a risk that they too may be infected with the virus.
Like so many of you at WFP, I have had to change my pattern of work and join meetings remotely from my own home in South Carolina. It is my full intention to continue working and joining all of you virtually on a regular basis, throughout the period of self-isolation that I must now strictly observe.
Life must go on and the World Food Programme must continue to do the work that makes all of us so proud as we bring food assistance to the many millions across the world who depend on us for help. I have a strong team of leaders around me and I have an incredible team of staff members in more than 80 countries around the globe. I am certain that you will continue to step up and do what needs to be done while I recover.
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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
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