Canada and the World Food Programme
The World Food Programme (WFP) is the food assistance arm of the United Nations (UN). It addresses global hunger and urgent food needs by providing life-saving humanitarian assistance to vulnerable populations around the world. Its reach is extensive – more than 80 million people in 75 countries each year.
WFP also leads logistics operations whenever a humanitarian emergency requires a joint response from UN agencies and the humanitarian community. In addition, WFP provides passenger air transport to the entire humanitarian community through the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), which goes to more than 250 locations worldwide.
WFP is Canada’s largest humanitarian assistance partner. WFP helps Canada provide humanitarian assistance that saves lives, alleviates suffering and maintains the dignity of vulnerable people affected by conflicts and natural disasters.
Canada is one of WFP’s top five donors. Canada’s support to WFP helps contribute to emergency food assistance and logistics support, as well as safety net and school meals programs. WFP’s mandate to provide food assistance ties directly to Canada’s commitment to help the poorest and most vulnerable, including through humanitarian action.
In 2016, Canada provided more than $299M to WFP for its operations, including $158M in response to the UN humanitarian appeals. Part of this funding also goes to the Immediate Response Account, which is WFP’s life-saving funding facility. This funding facility allows WFP to rapidly respond to emergencies.
WFP is governed by an Executive Board, with 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 organization’s commitment to:
- gender equality
- results-based management
- nutrition-sensitive programming
- improved emergency response
Canada participates in WFP Executive Board sessions three times a year in Rome (February, June and November). WFP representatives regularly visit Canada. Canadian representatives also meet with WFP staff in the field while responding to emergencies.
- In 2016, 82.2 million people in 82 countries were assisted directly by WFP. Children remain the focus of WFP’s support, accounting for 61 % (25.4 % for girls) of total recipients of food assistance. Women and children together accounted for 52 %.
- More than 50 million people were reached in emergencies in order to improve their nutrition and food security.
- In 2016, 76,500 schools received WFP assistance and 16.4 million children received school meals. This support helps children stay in school and supports uninterrupted access to education for both girls and boys (50 % girls).
- WFP programs have helped women become more active in household decision-making about the use of food and cash.
- 89 % of WFP project activities were implemented with the engagement of complementary partners. Partners include the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
- World Food Programme
- World Food Programme: Where we work
- Year One: Reaching Zero Hunger by 2030
- The World Food Programme Year in Review 2016
- Up-To-Date Donor Contributions to WFP by Year
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