Canada and the World Food Programme
The World Food Programme (WFP) is the food-assistance arm of the United Nations, addressing global hunger and urgent food needs by providing life-saving humanitarian assistance to vulnerable populations around the world. Its reach is extensive: in 2021, direct assistance was provided to a record 128.2 million people in 80 countries.
The WFP also leads logistics operations whenever a humanitarian emergency requires a joint response from UN agencies and the humanitarian community. This includes providing passenger air transport to the entire humanitarian community through the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service.
The WFP also works in longer-term rehabilitation and development contexts, where their efforts focus on school-feeding programs, building resilience and supporting social-protection efforts.
Canada consistently ranks among the top donors to the WFP and was the fourth-largest single-country donor in 2020 and 2021. In 2021, Canada provided more than $390 million to the WFP for its operations, including $306 million in humanitarian assistance.
Canada’s support to the WFP is mainly though humanitarian funding. As Canada’s largest humanitarian-assistance partner, the WFP is critical in providing emergency food assistance and logistics support that helps saves lives, alleviates suffering and maintains the dignity of vulnerable people affected by conflicts and natural disasters around the world.
Canada’s funding to the WFP includes long-term institutional support, humanitarian funding for a country-specific critical response in a protracted crisis as well as in sudden deteriorations in humanitarian situations, and development funding that helps support resilience, nutrition and school-feeding programs.
The WFP is governed by its Executive Board, which has representatives from 36 countries, including Canada. The Executive Board provides intergovernmental support to guide its policies and programs. As a key member of the Executive Board, Canada has worked to enhance the WFP’s commitment to:
- gender equality
- results-based management
- improved emergency response
Events and updates
Canada participates in Executive Board sessions 3 times a year (February, June and November) at WFP headquarters, in Rome, Italy, and in ad hoc consultations and engagements in the interim. Canadian representatives also meet with WFP staff in the field who are at the forefront in responding to emergencies. As well, WFP representatives from headquarters and the field regularly visit Canada to meet with Government of Canada officials. David Beasley, Executive Director of the WFP, has visited Canada 4 times, including in September 2022. The WFP opened an office in Ottawa in 2020.
Key results of the WFP in 2021 include these:
- More than 128 million people (68 million women and girls and 60 million men and boys) were assisted through in-kind food delivery and cash-based transfers.
- Some 15.5 million children (7.6 million girls and 7.9 million boys) were assisted with nutritious meals, school snacks or take-home rations.
- More than 23.5 million beneficiaries, primarily children and pregnant and lactating women and girls, were reached with programs for treating or preventing malnutrition.
- More than 4 million women were reached through livelihood- and resilience-building activities.
- World Food Programme
- World Food Programme: Where we work
- WFP Annual Review 2021
- WFP - Contributions by year
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