United Nations World Food Program

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World Food Program
World Food Program

Organization type Subsidiary organ of the United Nations
Abbreviation WFP
management David Beasley since 2017 United States
United StatesUnited States 
Founded 1961
Headquarters Rome Italy
Upper organization United NationsU.N. United Nations
2 euro commemorative coin for the 40th birthday of the WFP

The World Food Program ( English UN World Food Program , WFP is) one jointly by the United Nations General Assembly and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations -supported (FAO) humanitarian means and the main United Nations agency in the fight against global Hunger . In 2011, WFP provided food aid to 99.1 million people in 75 countries. For the most part, this is about providing people in need with food after natural disasters, droughts or violent conflicts. In addition, the WFP also helps people in areas with persistently poor nutrition and carries out development projects there. These include school feeding programs for around 25 million children per year in 60 countries, or so-called food-for-work programs , in which people receive food as compensation for their work that serves sustainable development - such as building wells or irrigation canals .

In addition to eight liaison offices in the most important donor countries (including Berlin for the German-speaking area), there are over 70 country offices around the world in which the WFP coordinates work on site.

Organization and financing

The headquarters of the WFP are in the Italian capital, Rome . The organization employs around 15,000 people, 90% of whom work in the project countries. The Executive Director of the WFP has been the American David Beasley since April 2017 . The head of the liaison office in Berlin for Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein is Ralf Südhoff.

The WFP only has a very small fixed budget. The facility is mainly financed by voluntary donations from donor countries, which usually finance specific programs in a targeted manner. Donations from companies and private individuals are also important. In 2007 the budget was just under 3 billion US dollars. In the wake of the world food crisis, it rose to 5 billion US dollars in 2008. Expenditures of nearly $ 6 billion were expected in 2010, with actual donations totaling approximately $ 3.82 billion. Most of the donations are made in cash, some in kind. The WFP is controlled by the so-called "Executive Council". 36 countries are alternately represented here, including Germany at the moment. In 2011, Germany was the fourth largest donor to the WFP. In 2015 and 2016, Germany was the third largest donor country - in 2015 with more than 296 million euros for over 45 WFP operations and in 2016 with more than 894 million US $ for WFP operations. In 2017, Germany was the second largest donor after the USA.

The WFP is not legally independent and therefore not a special organization of the United Nations . B. UNICEF and the United Nations Environment Program as well - as a subsidiary body an integral part of the United Nations.

In 2013, the Intelligence Initiative criticized the lack of transparency in the allocation of funds from the World Food Program.


UN Lockheed C-130 with food delivery for Sudan, Kenya 2004

The establishment of the WFP was decided in 1961 by the UN General Assembly and the FAO in order to secure the food supply in war and disaster areas. In 1963 the WFP officially started its work. In addition to the WFP, the FAO and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) are two UN specialized agencies in Rome that deal with the subject of nutrition. Today the WFP is the world's largest facility for the care of starving people. Over the decades, the WFP has worked closely with numerous international aid organizations and non-governmental organizations. The WFP works with around 3,000 non-governmental organizations on average each year .

The WFP is also responsible for the operation of the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS). UNHAS uses aircraft to transport personnel and material goods from numerous aid organizations to crisis areas such as Sudan, Afghanistan or West Africa.


The WFP has a humanitarian and apolitical mandate. It helps where people are hungry and the respective national government asks for help - regardless of the political circumstances. In recent years, integrative approaches that combine development cooperation and food aid have become increasingly important. In 2010, for example, the WFP bought local food worth 975 million US dollars (83% of the total) in developing countries and thus invested in local agriculture. The “Purchase for Progress” (P4P) initiative launched by WFP also falls into this context. This pilot project aims to strengthen the local and national markets in the countries affected by food insecurity by buying food locally from smallholders, increase the productivity of smallholders and thus free them from hunger and poverty.

The work of the WFP in disaster and crisis areas is often dangerous. In 2008, over 80 WFP truck drivers were ambushed and kidnapped in Sudan, and two drivers were murdered. In Somalia , too , two local WFP employees were murdered in early 2009. The mission there also gained a certain prominence in the course of piracy in the Horn of Africa and the international naval missions Atalanta , which are also supposed to protect the ships of the WFP. On October 5, 2009, a suicide bomber bombed WFP offices in Islamabad, killing five people.


ShareTheMeal logo
ShareTheMeal logo

To bring the issue of hunger and related donations against hunger in the daily life of every individual, the World Food Program published in 2015 the smartphone - App ShareTheMeal for iOS ( App Store ) and Android ( Google Play Store and Amazon Appstore ). With this app, the user can donate money directly to children in need. With an amount of 40 cents, one child can be provided with food for a day. As of February 2019, according to the company, more than 33 million meals had been financed.

Millennium Development Goals

Hunger is the greatest health risk in the world. More people die of hunger each year than of AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. That is precisely why halving the number of people suffering from hunger is the first of the Millennium Development Goals .

An important main goal of the World Food Program is to halve the number of people suffering from hunger and poverty between 1990 and 2015, in order to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals of 2000.

Starving worldwide

The number of starving people has decreased compared to 1990. However, the Millennium Development Goal has not yet been achieved. In 2016, the FAO estimated that 815 million people were starving. That is around 200 million fewer hungry people compared to 1990–1992, but compared to the absolute low in 2013 and 2014, around 40 million more. Also in relation to the world population, the proportion of people suffering from hunger rose from 10.6% to 11.0% in 2016.

Two opposing movements played a role in 2013–2015: the number of starving people decreased in Asia, while it increased in sub-Saharan Africa . Then in 2016 it increased in most regions of the world. The main causes were conflicts, in addition to the influences of El Niño and climate change as well as economic weakness in countries with significant raw material exports.

Graphic preparation of the adjacent data. Between 2011 and 2015 the absolute number of starving people (blue line) almost stagnated. In the same period, the percentage (red line) falls slightly due to the increase in world population. Both curves have increased significantly since 2015
Number of hungry people
year Number of starving people in millions percent
2000 900.0 14.7
2001 917.5 14.8
2002 936.3 14.9
2003 947.2 14.9
2004 941.7 14.6
2005 926.0 14.2
2006 890.9 13.5
2007 854.5 12.8
2008 831.8 12.3
2009 814.7 11.9
2010 794.6 11.5
2011 782.1 11.2
2012 779.3 11.0
2013 775.4 10.8
2014 775.4 10.7
2015 777.0 10.6
2016 815.0 11.0

World food crisis

In 2008 food prices rose dramatically, sometimes by several hundred percent. As a result, so-called hunger riots broke out in numerous countries , and the government in Haiti fell in April. In the course of the world food crisis, the WFP was also challenged. During 2008 it had to massively expand its operations and nearly double its budget. In 2008, the WFP supported 102 million people in 78 countries with food aid. In 2012, the WFP had to provide food aid to over 90 million people in 75 countries. Although the extremely high price level has now fallen, grain still costs significantly more than before the food crisis. This hits people in poverty very hard, who previously had to spend two thirds to three quarters of their income on food.

Thirty years ago, more than every third person on earth was starving; today it is every sixth.

See also

Web links

Commons : United Nations World Food Program  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. School lunch programs , additional text.
  2. Country offices , additional text.
  3. Employee , additional text.
  4. ^ Ralf Südhoff ( memento of October 20, 2012 in the Internet Archive ), additional text.
  5. ^ WFP office for Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein
  6. a b issues ( memento of October 18, 2012 in the Internet Archive ), additional text.
  7. ↑ Record payments by the German Federal Government ( memento from January 5, 2013 in the web archive archive.today ), additional text.
  8. de.wfp.org/deutschland-und-wfp
  9. Contributions to WFP in 2016 | WFP | United Nations World Food Program - Fighting Hunger Worldwide. Retrieved June 1, 2017 .
  10. Interview in the FAZ of July 4, 2017, p. 4 ( Memento of July 4, 2017 in the Internet Archive )
  11. 2013: Top 3 - UN World Food Program is opaque. In: Initiative news clearance . Retrieved October 26, 2019 (German).
  12. Gunmen shot dead two workers for a French aid group
  13. "The World Food Program has halted its food shipments to Somalia in a high-stakes attempt to press local warlords to rein in violence that has killed two of its employees this month."
  14. WFP press review on Pakistan
  15. Article on the start of ShareTheMeal
  16. ShareTheMeal. Counter reading when called: 20,064,074. Retrieved February 25, 2019 .
  17. Facts About Hunger , additional text.
  18. Safety nets , safety nets.
  19. FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO (eds.): The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017. Building resilience for peace and food security . Rome 2017, ISBN 978-92-5109888-2 , pp. 5-6.27 ( fao.org [PDF; 4.4 MB ]).
  20. How close are we to #ZeroHunger? The State of Food Security and Nutritio in the World. FIGURE 1 - The number of people undernourished in the world has been on the rise since 2014, reaching an estimated 815 million in 2016. FAO, 2017, accessed on September 17, 2017 .
  21. Rising Food Prices: 10 Questions and Answers
  22. The number of people going hungry has fallen by 130 million since 1990, but the number of hunger has been rising again since 2008. (Source: State of Food Insecurity in the World, FAO, 2012)