Minister Oda welcomes Ertharin Cousin, new Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme, to Canada

April 27, 2012 - This week, the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, welcomed Ms. Ertharin Cousin, the new Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to Canada.

 © ACDI/CIDAOn April 26, 2012, Minister Beverley J. Oda welcomed Ms. Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme.

"I would like to congratulate Ertharin Cousin on her appointment to the World Food Programme. The WFP is a key partner in Canada's efforts to end hunger and improve nutrition," said Minister Oda. "I look forward to working together with Ms. Cousin as we work towards our mutual goal of saving lives."

"It was extremely important for me to visit Canada in the first few weeks of my tenure with WFP," said Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme. "Minister Oda's dedication to provide multi-year flexible funding strengthens WFP's ability to respond quickly to areas of greatest priority and need, avoiding food pipeline breaks, ensuring more accurate planning of resources and maximizing the cost efficiency of our operations. Canada's continued generosity is the difference between hunger and hope for the world's most vulnerable."

WFP is the Canadian International Development Agency's (CIDA) largest humanitarian partner. CIDA's support helps WFP's humanitarian emergency and transitional food assistance programming meet the immediate food assistance needs of vulnerable populations affected by natural disasters and complex humanitarian situations.

For half a century, WFP has been on the frontlines throughout the world in every disaster and situation of malnutrition to help the most vulnerable. 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.

In 2011, Canada was the second largest overall donor to WFP, contributing nearly $300 million to operations. CIDA support contributes to emergency, safety net, and school feeding food assistance programming. CIDA has also supported a number of WFP's innovative initiatives, including the Purchase for Progress Program, which improves food security and increases the income of low-income farmers by connecting them to markets.

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For more information, media should contact: 

Justin Broekema
Press Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation
Telephone: 819-953-6238

Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Telephone: 819-953-6534
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