About World Food Programme
- The World Food Programme (WFP) is the food-assistance branch of the United Nations and the world’s largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security.
- Assisting almost 100 million people in around 83 countries each year, the WFP responds to emergencies making sure food reaches where it is needed, especially in times of civil strife and natural disasters.
- The organisation has widened its operational remit and is now a leading provider of not just emergency food aid but also an agency engaged in supporting the nutritional requirements of communities through food assistance programmes. These vary from supporting school meals projects in different countries, including India, to the provision of cash and vouchers as a complement to in-kind food distributions.
- WFP is funded entirely by voluntary donations, most of which comes from governments.
- Established in 1961, WFP is headquartered in Rome, Italy.
- It works closely with the other two Rome-based UN agencies: the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which helps countries draw up policy and change legislation to support sustainable agriculture, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), which finances projects in poor rural areas.
Why in News?
- The UN World Food Programme has warned that millions of Afghans will face starvation this winter unless urgent action is taken. More than half the population – about 22.8 million people – face acute food insecurity, while 3.2 million children under five could suffer acute malnutrition.
- The WFP said that Afghanistan is now among the world’s worst humanitarian crises.
- Afghanistan fell to the Taliban in August after the US pulled out the last of its remaining troops and the militants swept across the country retaking ground. The takeover weakened an already fragile economy that was heavily dependent on foreign aid. Western powers suspended aid and the World Bank and International Monetary Fund also halted payments.
- A nation is considered aid-dependent when 10% or more of its gross domestic product comes from foreign aid; in Afghanistan’s case, about 40% of GDP was international aid.