Ten things you never knew about WFP
21 Gennaio 2008
1 WFP is entirely dependent on voluntary donations – We have no guaranteed funds and we depend from year to year on the generosity of governments, private companies and members of the
public to fund our work.
2. WFP spends only 7 percent on overheads making it one of the most efficient organisations in the world – The rest is devoted entirely to our field operations, reaching hungry people
with life-saving food, vouchers and micronutrients.
3. WFP buys its food in 70 different developing countries – In 2006, more than three-quarters of the money WFP spent on purchasing food (US$460 million) was used to buy food in 70
developing countries. These purchases, in places like Ethiopia, Uganda and Pakistan, are a key investment in fragile agricultural economies.
4. WFP’s local purchasing policy is an effective way for donors to make a cash transfer to farming communities in the developing world – Unlike cash that is given to beneficiaries, the
local purchasing policy is a cash transfer that carries an investment dimension in that farmers are being paid for the production of food.
5. WFP cannot dump surplus food because there is no surplus food to dump – The food that WFP distributes is targeted closely at the most vulnerable populations. Less than 2 percent of
WFP food assistance is in surplus donations.
6. WFP is playing a leading role in mitigating the impact of climate change on populations in the developing world. Over 44 years on the frontlines of hunger WFP has learned that
protecting against erosion, desertification, floods, droughts and all kinds of other natural disasters, is essential in helping communities establish food security. These are the very skills
and programmes that will help the vulnerable cope with more frequent and more severe droughts and floods.
In the past two decades, WFP has ensured that more than 5 billion trees have been planted in regions where soil erosion and climate change are a growing problem; we work with communities to
strengthen river banks that are prone to flooding, and advise governments on disaster-preparedness plans.
7. WFP’s work isn’t just about feeding hungry people – We maintain one of the most extensive and sophisticated logistical and storage networks in the world. We are the supply chain for
the whole humanitarian system. We have developed sophisticated early warning systems and proven vulnerability assessment methodologies that have helped save thousands of lives when disasters
8. WFP builds roads, de-mines areas where anti-personnel mines have been scattered, reconditions rolling stock for railways and renovates tracks, and builds bridges – As an agency, WFP
is ready to do anything it takes to ensure the smooth delivery of food assistance and to restore delivery capability in disaster-affected areas, and the sustainable connection of people to
9. WFP plays a leading role in improving the lives of people infected by HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. Without proper nutrition, the quality of these peoples’ lives will be lowered and
their ability to gain the most from courses of medical treatment will be diminished.
10. WFP helps to get more girls into school – WFP provides free school lunches and take-home rations to children in developing countries. The basic WFP school meal costs just 10 US cents
– enough to persuade parents to send girls to school and give them a chance of a better start in life.