Head of World Food Programme makes an official visit to Canada

October 21, 2011

Today, the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, announced that the Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), Ms. Josette Sheeran, will visit Canada from October 25 to 26, 2011. This year will mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of WFP, the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.

"We are proud to welcome Ms. Sheeran to Canada and deepen our partnership to reduce hunger, improve nutrition and address the needs of people affected by conflict, natural disasters and poverty," said Minister Oda. "WFP is CIDA's largest humanitarian partner, and Canada is pleased to be the second largest single country donor to WFP, making it a key international partner of Canada."

For half a century, WFP has been on the frontlines throughout the world in every disaster to help the most vulnerable. Currently, it is playing a critical role in East Africa, using every available means to get essential food to more than 10 million people affected by the humanitarian crisis there.

Established in 1961, WFP is the food aid arm of the United Nations. In 2010, WFP provided 109 million people in 75 countries with 4.6 million tonnes of food. The agency also acquires and moves the largest volume of goods and supplies of all humanitarian organizations globally. Under the leadership of Ms. Sheeran, the WFP has initiated innovative approaches to improve the effectiveness of the agency's food assistance in some of the most challenging circumstances. The use of food vouchers, school feeding programs and buying needed food and supplies locally has increased the reach and efficiency of WFP's work.

Josette Sheeran is a citizen of the United States and served as Under Secretary for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

Prior to that, she served as Deputy U.S. Trade Representative. She was also president and CEO of a Washington D.C. think tank, managing director at Starpoint Solutions, a leading Wall Street technology firm and managing editor of The Washington Times.

While in Canada, Ms. Sheeran will meet with parliamentarians and stakeholders and hold several media availabilities in Ottawa and Toronto.

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For more information:
Justin Broekema
Press Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation
Telephone: 819-953-6238
Email: justin.broekema@acdi-cida.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Telephone: 819-953-6534
Email: media@acdi-cida.gc.ca