UN food agency launches four-year plan for global food crisis

Josette Sheeran, WFP Executive Director

13 June 2008 – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has announced a new four-year strategic plan to tackle soaring levels of hunger caused by the global food crisis.

“This strategic plan marks a revolution in food aid that supports local markets in breaking the cycle of hunger,” Josette Sheeran, WFP's Executive Director said today.

“I call this our 80-80-80 solution,” she told WFP's Board members gathered in Rome this week. 󈭀 per cent of our cash for food is spent in the developing world, 80 per cent of our ground transport is procured in the developing world, and 80 per cent of our staff is hired locally in the developing world.”

WFP spends more than $2 billion a year on food, transport and staff in the developing world.

The new strategic plan emphasizes life-saving emergency aid, such as for 3 million vulnerable people in Darfur, but it also focuses on prevention, local purchase of food, and using targeted cash and voucher programs when food is available locally but not accessible for the hungry.

The announcement of WFP's four-year strategic plan follows last week's High-Level Conference on World Food Security in Rome, where world leaders gathered to discuss hunger and agriculture development issues against the backdrop of high global food and fuel prices.

The tools laid out in the plan include early warning systems and vulnerability analysis, as well as preparedness and disaster reduction and mitigation, and effective emergency response in life-saving situations.

The plan also includes spending to strengthen smallholder farming, local transport and communication networks, as well as school meals and support for mother-and-child health and nutrition programmes.

Last year, WFP used its cash resources to purchase $612 million worth of food in 69 developing countries.

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