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WFP And OCHA Boost Partnership To Share And Visualize Food Security Data

ROME – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) are boosting wider understanding of how families in conflict-torn Yemen struggle with persistent food insecurity, through a new interactive visualization of data captured by mobile technology and shared on an open source platform.

Collected by WFP’s mobile food security monitoring service (mVAM), the data tracks a household’s food consumption. The visualization shows how families are coping in the face of hunger and food shortages as the months pass. It can be observed in the visualization that as of March 2016, a large proportion (about 70 percent) of families in each governorate in Yemen are borrowing food or relying on the help of friends and relatives to cope with food insecurity. This proportion is more significant in governorates affected by conflict.

WFP and OCHA plan to extend the visualization to show data from other countries.

The data is available on OCHA’s Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX), an open platform for sharing crisis data. HDX includes some 4,000 datasets from humanitarian partners, allowing a range of users --from journalists to policy makers and data scientists -- to explore the data and gain insight.

WFP and OCHA began collaborating last year when HDX created an interactive visualization for food price data – available on WFP’s VAM Shop.

With funding from Google, WFP has released the Application Programme Interface (API) which provides open access to large amounts of food security data that it collects in real-time through mobile technology.
“This is an important step towards greater transparency by making crucial food security data freely available in open source. In the case of Yemen, where the humanitarian situation is rapidly deteriorating due to continued conflict it is paramount that the data we capture is available to as wide an audience as possible, to inform key decisions,” said WFP Chief Economist Arif Husain.   

“The food security data that WFP shares through HDX is critical to understanding the severity of humanitarian crises around the world,” said Sarah Telford, Head of HDX. “WFP has become a leader in humanitarian data with its innovative approaches to data collection in places like Yemen and its openness to sharing data globally.”

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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.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media  @wfpvam

The mission of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is to mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors. The goal of the Humanitarian Data Exchange is to make data easy to find and use for analysis.

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For more information please contact
Anuj Anand, WFP/Rome, Mob +39 389 5990817
Frances Kennedy, WFP/Rome,  Mob. +39 346 7600806
Gerald Bourke, WFP/New York,  Mob.  +1-646 525 9982
Javier Teran, OCHA/New York, Mob + 1 917-288-8739