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12 things you didn’t know about the World Food Programme

Facts and figures about our work to help end hunger
, Paul Anthem, Simona Beltrami and Mert Er
Yemen: 4-year-old Omar sits on bags of WFP flour in Khawlan. Photo: WFP/Mohammed Awadh


WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace. We work in over 120 countries and territories, and assisted more than 128 million people in 2021. 

Haiti: Administration officer Chiara Camassa at WFP's warehouse in Port-au-Prince. Photo: WFP/Antoine Vallas


Each day we can have up to 5,600 trucks, 30 ships and 100 planes on the move, delivering food and other assistance in some of the most remote and challenging parts of the world.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo: WFP provides essential air transport and other logistical support to the humanitarian community. Photo: WFP/Jean Pierre Kitungwa


WFP is the frontline agency responding to emergencies caused by conflict, climate shocks, pandemics and other disasters. We are tackling ongoing emergencies in over 20 countries or regions, the majority fuelled by conflict.

Pakistan: Abdul Jabbar and his son Muhammad Hashim walk through flood water after their home was devastated by a monsoon. Photo: WFP/Saiyna Bashir
Pakistan: Abdul Jabbar and his son Muhammad Hashim walk through flood water after their home was devastated by a monsoon. Photo: WFP/Saiyna Bashir


We provide school meals to  15.5 million children, improving both their nutrition and their access to a potentially life-changing education. Since 1990 we have built the capacity of national governments, with more than 40 taking over school feeding programmes.

Kyrgyzstan: Free meals inspire parents to make sure their children attend schools such as this one in Dyikan village. Photo: WFP/Daniil Usmanov


We received a record US$9.6 billion in contributions in 2021 – still more than US$5 billion short of requirements though. Rising needs aligned to the rapidly increasing cost of assisting people amidst drawn-out conflicts, climate-related disasters and the fallout from COVID-19 mean we need increased financial support more than ever

Man kneeling and speaking with children
Ukraine: WFP's Salim Moussa with children during a food distribution to people living in bomb shelters in Kharkiv. Photo: WFP/Reem Nada


WFP connects smallholder farmers to markets in 44 countries. In 2021, we bought 117,000 metric tons of food worth US$51.9 million from smallholder farmers in 27 countries. 

Laos: Members of the Akha community at a WFP food distribution site in Luang Namtha region. Photo: WFP/Vilakhone Sipaseuth


In 2021, nearly 159,000 hectares of land was developed and 1,609 hectares of forest was planted under WFP’s Food Assistance for Assets initiative, which meets people’s immediate food needs while improving their ability to offset the worst effects of climate-related and other disasters.

Man digging into ground with spade
Niger: A farmer digs a half-moon to help trap water for irrigation, as part of work under the Food Assistance for Assets programme. Photo: WFP/Frederic Pechot


We delivered 4.4 million metric tons of food in 2021, reaching nearly 68 million women and girls and more than 60 million men and boys. 

Nigeria: WFP staffer Elizabeth Adejoh at work in Makoko, the world's largest floating slum, in Lagos. Photo: WFP/Damilola Onafuwa


More than three quarters of the food we buy comes from developing countries, saving time and money on transport costs and helping sustain and grow local economies.

Syria: Mothers in rural Deir Ez-Zor wait to collect food from a WFP assistance point. Photo: WFP/Jessica Lawson


WFP is the largest cash provider in the humanitarian community, increasing consumer choice and strengthening local markets. In 2021, WFP transferred US$2.3 billion in cash and vouchers to 42 million people across 69 countries.

Woman holding bag of food
Colombia: Dayana, who left Venezuela and then lost her job due to COVID-19, collects a food basket for her family provided by WFP with the support of World Vision. Photo: WFP/Mathias Roed


We provided seasonal weather forecasts and climate information services to 5.2 million people in 16 countries in 2021. Cash transfers ahead of a disaster allow people to move assets such as livestock, reinforce their homes and buy food and other emergency supplies so they are better prepared.

woman paying for vegetables at a market
Malawi: Khadija Yasi buys food with cash she received through a WFP climate-insurance scheme, after drought and pests destroyed her crops. Photo: WFP/Badre Bahaji 


WFP programmes for the treatment or prevention of malnutrition reached 23.5 million people in 2021, primarily children and pregnant and breastfeeding women and girls – a 36 percent increase on 2020. This included distributing over 1.47 million metric tons of fortified foods.

Bangladesh: Zakia and her 2-year-old daughter Shimu with fortified biscuits provided by WFP, after their home was flooded. Photo: WFP/Sayed Asif Mahmud
Bangladesh: Zakia feeds her 2-year-old daughter Shimu  fortified biscuits provided by WFP, after their home was flooded. Photo: WFP/Sayed Asif Mahmud
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