At any given time, the World Food Programme (WFP) is on the frontlines in the fight against hunger. Thousands of dedicated staff channel their expertise and use all means at their disposal – trucks, planes, ships, helicopters and even amphibious vehicles – to ensure that vast quantities of food and other essential items reach those who need them most.
With close to 60 years’ experience delivering food assistance in some of the planet’s remotest and most insecure regions, WFP is a partner of choice in humanitarian response and also, increasingly, in the effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
We work with governments and NGOs, with suppliers and local communities. We engage businesses and smallholder farmers. We invest in local economies, markets and the private sector.
By prioritizing local companies and national first responders as much as possible, for both our emergency assistance and our resilience-building projects, we contribute to more sustainable agricultural systems, more dynamic retail sectors, more robust transport networks. Through our supply chain, we spend more than US$2 billion in the countries where we operate, filling gaps in local supply chains wherever needed.
In operations involving cash, we help optimize the transport and bulk-buying strategies of our contracted retailers, so that they can cut costs and reduce shelf prices. This translates to an increase in the purchasing power of both our beneficiaries and local populations, enabling them to buy more – and more nutritious – food. Our planning, sourcing and delivery strategies make the most of donor resources and help professionalize commercial markets, thereby boosting economic growth.
WFP also makes this global capacity and expertise available to UN agencies, NGOs and governments.
We offer common services that enable our partners to reach those in need. UNHAS, the UN's only mandated humanitarian air service, provides safe and reliable transport for aid workers; UNHRD buys, stores and dispatches relief supplies for partners from its global hubs; and the Logistics Cluster provides coordination and information management during emergency responses and facilitates access to other WFP logistics services.
While perfecting the tools of emergency response, we continue to close the gap between the humanitarian and development contexts. Together with governments and other partners, we seek sustainable solutions to the underlying causes of crises, invest in more viable markets, and promote stronger commercial sectors.