Thursday, January 24, 2008

World Food Program



Faculty of Social Sciences and International Relations

Major: International Relations

Course: United Nations Systems

Lecturer: Professor Stan Starygin

Student’s Name: LY OnzeMardy

Academic Year: 2008 – 2009


In most of the article that I have done, most of the source I got from the internet, with the UN website ( and WFP website (, also from the Google search machine that contains some article about the UN especially the WFP as well as the other’s criticism about its activities. The other one is article talks about the “WFP First Regular Session, A decade of Change: Renewal and Transformation of the World Food Programmes 1992-2002, Rome 11-14 February, 2002” held in ROME on the 11-14 February 2002. The topic is about “Organizational and Procedural Matters”. This article contain some important area that focus and talks about the procedure in the organization, the planning process and especially the reforming or challenge for change in their work.

The World Food Program (WFP) OUTLINE


I. Introduction

II. Body
a. WFP Overview and History
b. About the Organization itself
c. Goals and Strategies
d. Mission Statement
i. What is WFP’s mission?
ii. What are the Causes of Hunger?
iii. Who are the Hungry?
iv. Who do WFP help?
v. Where?
vi. How WFP works to stop Hunger?

e. Funding
i. Government
ii. Corporation
iii. Individual
f. WFP’s partners
i. With National Government
ii. UN agencies
iii. Corporate Partners
g. Grassroots efforts

III. The Reforming and Suggestion of WFP

IV. Conclusion

V. Reference

I. Introduction

The WFP (World Food Program) is the United Nation Specialized Agencies for food aid that established in the goal to fight with hunger all around the world, with established in the 1961 at the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) conference. The organization focuses on the 3 core strategies behind its activities, according to its mission statement. These are to provide food aid to save lives in refugee and other emergency situations; to improve the nutrition and quality of life of the most vulnerable people at the critical times in the lives; and help build assets and promote the self-reliance of poor people and communities, particularly through labor-intensive works programmes. Through this, WFP strives to eradicate hunger and malnutrition with the ultimate goal in mind of eliminating the need for food aid itself. The WFP operates within the six regional areas, in 82 countries around the world, there are 100 relief operations in 73 countries, 27 development projects and 35 country programmes in 49 countries. WFP’s budgets for its operations are funded by donation from the world government, corporations and private donors. In 2006, the programme received 2.9 billion in contribution. These donations are all completely voluntarily. The WFP’s objective is to eradicate hunger and malnutrition.

II. Body

a. WFP overview and history

The WFP, the world’s largest humanitarian agency provides foods on average, each year, to 90 millions people in 80 countries, including 58 million children. From its Headquarters in Rome and more than 80 country offices around the world, WFP works to help people who are unable to produce or obtain enough food for themselves and their families.

The WFP was first conceived at the 1961 FAO conference, when Gorge McGovern, director of the U.S Food for Peace Programmes, proposed establishing a multilateral food aid programme. WFP was formally established in 1963 by the FAO and the UN General Assembly on a three-year experimental basis. In 1965, the programme was extended to a continuing basis.

b. About the Organization itself

The WFP is governed by the WFP Executive Board which consists of 36 member states. Josette Sheeran is the current Executive Director, appointed jointly by the UN Secretary General and the Director-General of the FAO for a five-year term. She heads the secretariat of WFP.

+ WFP has a staff of 10587 people (2006) with 92% operating in the field.
+ (2007) 10520 had contracts of one year or longer à 9687 in the field, 833 at Rome headquarter.

c. Goals and Strategies

WFP strives to eradicate hunger and malnutrition, with the ultimate goal in mind of eliminating the need for food aid itself.

- The core strategies behind WFP activities, according to its mission statement are to provide food aid to:
1. Save lives in refugee and other emergency situations
2. Improve the nutrition and quality of life of the most vulnerable people atcritical times in their lives.
3. Enable development
a. helping people build assets that benefits them directly
b. promoting the self-reliance of poor people and community, particularly through labor-intensive works programmes.
WFP food aid is also directed to fight micronutrient difficulties, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, and combat disease, including HIV/AIDS. Food-for-work programmes help promote environmental and economic stability and agricultural production.

d. Mission Statement

The 1994, WFP became the first United Nations organization to adopt a mission statement. It is the foundation on which we build our policy, defining the who, what, where and how of our “mission” to eradicate global hunger and poverty.

1. What is WFP mission?

The WFP is the food aid programme of the UN. The WFP uses its food to:
+ meet emergency needs
+ Support economic and social development

The agency also provides the logistics support necessary to get food aid to the right people at the right time and the right places.

WFP works to put hunger at the centre of the international agenda, promoting policies, strategies and operations that directly benefit the poor and hunger.

2. What are the Cause of Hunger?

For this part, according to the WFP, they define the matter of causing Hunger mostly because of some factors such as: Nature, War, Poverty Trap, Agricultural Infrastructure, and Over-Exploitation of Environment.

3. Who are the Hungry?

Rural Risk, Child Hunger and Women are the main concerning of most of the WFP’s works. Firstly, about “Rural Risk” there are three-quarters of all hungry people live in rural areas, mainly in the villages of Asia and Africa. Most of them dependent on the agriculture for their food, they all have no alternative source of income or employment and as a result, are particularly vulnerable to crises. Many of them migrate to cities in their search for employment. Second, “Child Hunger”, as according to the FAO, every year Hunger continued at present levels costs five million children to die, many of children drop or quit school because of the need in the farm or workforce. Finally, “Women”, for WFP they stated that women are the world’s primary food producers, yet cultural traditions and social structures often mean women are much more affected by hunger and poverty than man. For them they eat least and last.

4. Who do WFP help?

+ Victims of natural disasters like the 2006 East Africa drought, the Pakistan earthquake and hurricane Stan in 2005, the Tsunami disaster and Bangladesh floods in 2004, the Iran earthquake in 2003 or hurricane Mitch, which affected on million people in Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala in October 1998.
+ Displaced People: Both refugees and internally displaced persons to leave towns and villages in places like Darfur, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Colombia.
+ The World’s Hunger People: Trapped in a twilight zone between poverty and malnutrition.
+ WFP also believes that women: are the first solution to hunger and poverty. Women not only cook food, the sow, reap and harvest it. Yet in many developing countries, they eat last and least.
5. Where?

WFP is the world’s largest international food aid organization combating hunger in the underdeveloped nations with severe food shortage. The frontline stretches from Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East to Latin America and Asia and the Pacific.

*. Food distributed to 97 million of the poorest people in the world.
+ 24 million people in development programmes
+ 35 million beneficiaries in emergency operations
+ 38 million people in rehabilitation operations

+ Operations in 82 countries around the world:
100 relief operations in 73 countries
27 development projects and 35 countries programmes in 49 countries.

*. On the 3rd of this month, even in Cambodia, WFP has celebrated the walk the world at the river side.

6. How WFP Work to stop Hunger?

Even though there is more than enough food in the world to feed the world’s 6.4 billion people, the poor do not have the money to buy it or the means to produce it. Food can be the cycle of poverty. WFP’s innovative projects, which play an integral party in relief and rehabilitation and development operations, allow the week and poor, including people made homeless by natural disasters, returning refuges, HIV/AIDS orphans and jobless mothers, to stop worrying about their next meal and build a sustainable future.

There is more than enough food to feed the world’s population, so WFP is not resigned to hunger. Food assistance can break the cycle of poverty and hunger.

*WFP’s Project to Fight Hunger
Rescue: WFP stands on a permanent state of a alert, ready to mobilize food aid for delivering to natural and man-made disaster areas.
Rapid Reaction: WFP’s rapid response team draws-up contingency plans designed to move food and humanitarian aid fast into disaster areas.

WFP works closely with the other members of the UN family, governments and NGOs, offering its logistics expertise to guarantee the delivery of all kinds of humanitarian aid.
Rehabilitation: WFP food aid also serves as a mean to get disaster-affected regions back on their feed.
Deterrence: Malnutrition gnaws away at the most valuable asset in any country’s development: its children and its workers. Food aid is one of the most effective deterrents against long-term poverty.

¬For nearly 40 years, WFP has provided Free School Lunches as an incentive for the children of poor families to go to school. In addition to free lunches, WFP’s take-home rations help convince parents to send their children to class.

For WFP, it is important that after the conclusion of these projects, people can secure food through their own efforts. Hunger must never threaten again.

e. Funding

- How the WFP got money and fund,
- When talking about funding. WFP operations are funded by donation from world government corporations and private donors. All donations are completely voluntary. That means WFP relies entirely on voluntary contributions to finance its humanitarian and development projects. All donations are made either as cash, food such as flour, beans, oil, salt, and sugar, or the basic items necessary to grow, store and cook, food-kitchen utensils, agricultural tools and warehouses. Since WFP has no independent source of funds, all donations either in cash or in-kind must be accompanied by the cash needed to move, manage and monitor WFP food aid

1. Government

Governments are the principal source of funding for WFP; the organization receives no clues or portions of the UN assessed contributions.
On the average, over 60 governments underwrite the humanitarian and development projects of WFP. All of the Government support is on an entirely voluntary basis.

2. Corporation

Through corporate-giving programmes, individual companies can make a vital contribution to fighting hunger.
Corporate donations of cash, product or services can help free up scarce resources to help WFP feed more hungry people.
In turn, corporations engage their employees, customers and other stakeholders in a vital, life-saving mission.
For the recent donations from private and not-for-profit entities have included frontline support to several emergency operations; expertise to enhance WFP’s logistics and fundraising capacities and critical cash for school feeding.

3. Individual

Individuals can make a difference in the lives of the hungry. A personal donation can provide:

- special food for hungry children in nurseries
- Food incentives to encourage poor families to send their girls to school
- Food as payment for people to rebuild schools, roads and other infrastructure in the wake of conflicts and natural disasters

f. The WFP’s Partner: WFP cannot fight global hunger and poverty alone. For WFP co-ordination and co-operation with national governments, the rest of the UN system and NGO’s is essential- both in emergencies and development project.

1. WFP and National Governments

Governments are WFP’s principal partners. The Agency consults with national and local authorities at every stage of the planning process.

The programme may provide the food aid itself and, in some case, the technical and logistical expertise, but its projects always require the full support and involvement of individual governments. Ultimately, it is the national government who must request WFP’s intervention in emergencies or development projects, so the programmes work must fit into the national picture.

In most cases, however, governments will consult WFP country offices before drawing up disaster prevention plans or making a request for development aid.
For its part, WFP takes measures to ensure that once its own contribution to a project is phased out, the national government will make every effort to pursue the project’s objective.
Only in exceptional circumstance, such as a complex crisis when national authorities may have lost control of their territory, can WFP provide assistance without an invitation from the government and only then at the special request of the UN secretary general.

+ List of some governments partnering with WFP
- DFID: The UK government’s department for international development works to promote sustainable development and eliminate world poverty.
- ECHO: The European Union’s Humanitarian Aid office is one of the biggest sources of humanitarian aid in the work, providing more than €221.4 million in 2006. ECHO’s funding, taken together with the aid allocated by EU member states separately, makes the European Union the largest donor of aid in the world.
- EUROPEAID: Europe Aid’s mission is to implement the external aid instruments of the European Commission whci are funded by the EC budget and the European Development fund. The office is responsible for all phases of the project cycle which ensures programmes established by the Directorates General for External Relations a Development and approved by the commission.
- USAID: The United States agency for international development provides economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 100 countries.

2. UN agency

WFP, FAO and IFAD, all based in Rome, often combine their expertise in agriculture, food aid and rural development.
Within the UN family, the mandates of the three Rome-based agencies- WFP, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development. IFAD complement one another. Each is working to fulfill the World Food Summit’s aim of eradicating global hunger and poverty. WFP with food aid, FAO through its technical expertise in agriculture and IFAD via International Financial Assistance.
Increasingly, the three agencies are finding joint solutions to dealing with emergencies and promoting recovery and development.
WFP, FAO and IFAD joint activities are designed to help create conditions in rural areas that will allow the hungry poor to participate more actively in the local economy. The projects include providing food to protect the distribution of seeds and supporting community infrastructure and agricultural extension activities. WFP and FAO carried out 25 joint FAO/WFP. Crop and Food Supply Assessment Missions in Africa and Asia. WFP projects implemented jointly with IFAD included rural infrastructure development and micro-finance activities.

3. Corporate Partners

WFP is seeking additional funding and valuable expertise from private companies active in areas such as transport, food, information and communications technology, logistics, finance and HR.
The cutting edge know-how of corporate partners can help make the world’s largest food aid organization more efficient and effective and ultimately help feed more hungry people across the globe.

g. Grassroots Efforts

WFP has launched a global advocacy and fundraising event called walk the world. One single day each year hundreds of thousand of people in every time zone all over the world walk to call for the end of child hunger as well as to collect the fund for the project.
As in this month, recently on the 4th November 2007, the WFP has celebrate what so called walk the work in Phnom Penh, in front of the H.E Hun Sen Garden. This celebration has also got many sponsorships, like big one is TNT company.

III. The Reforming and Suggestion of WFP

According to the report of the WFP first regular session conducted in ROME in 11-14 February 2002 which talked about organization and procedural matters, has focus in all the activities and struggle that WFP have met. That article also includes the suggestion for change, which believe that the culture of constructive change is well established, the achievement of today are making way for the challenges of tomorrow. These challenges (according to WFP) would critically affect the on-going change process and the WFP of the future. Below will are the challenges focusing on the keeping the needs of people (both the beneficiaries of WFP programmes and WFP’s own staff) at the centre of the change process.

Challenge 1: Fine-Tuning the Resourcing and Financing System[1]

Of course WFP need the right people, the right knowledge and the right strategies to help the hungry poor. But it also has to have the financial resources to carry out its programmes. So for the WFP, what is the change? It is that WFP should adopt such system that consistent with WFP’s commitment to cost-effectiveness, that is which the organization can make the WFP goes further into its long-term operations and to improve budget estimates.

Challenge 2: sustaining Empowerment and Cohesion[2]

In this part, it is a major challenge for WFP in light of decentralization, that should mention not only the control by headquarter and would adverse to the regional bureaus. Both Headquarters and the regional bereaux have to work closely with one another to achieve the goals of WFP through a standard and consistent global approach. To that, it also focus on the communication, that not all the decision-making can be done through reports, e-mail, or even audio-visual conferencing, such like meeting, workshops and retreats, which mostly require team-building should occur regularly. At last, the essential to maintain the rotation of managers and staffs between Headquarters and the field as one of the ways of ensuring the Cohesion of WFP in a decentralized environment.

Challenge 3: Mastering New Roles at Headquarters[3]

The culture in Headquarters has to adopt to reflect the two main tasks of the centre in a decentralized organization. For two reasons: first, the Headquarters must provide strategic and normative guidance to ensure global coherence in WFP policy. Second, it must provide customer-oriented, flexible and efficient services in such areas as budgeting, human resources, financial management, procurement and logistics.

Challenge 4: Keeping the focus on Staff and Managers[4]

In meeting all of the challenge, it requires a systematic approach to developing people (Human Resource) within WFP. A career-management system is essential to an integrated approach to training, staff rotation and workforce planning that ensures that current and future staff will learn through out their career the skills they need to meet current future challenges. That approach should not be limited to international staff, the needs and aspirations of national staff must also be a central concerned. Gender-balance must also be a major concerning as well.

Challenge 5: Integrating Result-Based Thinking[5]

For WFP, the immediate focus should be on developing result-based management and reporting tools that the field can use. They should be designed and implemented so that the mechanics of the tools do not divert staff energy from their core work. For this new result-based management, planning and reporting tools and the change in culture implied by results-based thinking will take a considerable amount of the time and energy of senior management and staff during the next five years and toward the future plan.

Challenge 6: Strengthening WFP’s Advocacy Role[6]

The WFP’s strategic plans have made advocacy on behalf of the hungry poor a central organizational goal. There have been some interesting and important initiatives, especially, at country level. Best practices need to be identified and shared, and the capacity of country offices to carry out advocacy needs to be strengthened.

Challenge 7: Strengthening the Knowledge Base on the Hungry Poor[7]

To be effective over the long-term, WFP staff must be fluent in country-specific knowledge of the status of the hungry poor: who they are; where they are; and why they hungry. With this information, WFP can target it own resources, act as an advocate to convince governments to direct their resources to the hungry poor and influence donors, and others to do the same. For this, it may be possible for WFP to take up this role even in poor countries where it does not have any operations.

Challenge 8: Maintaining the Momentum of Change[8]

Manages and staff feel they are under increasing stress as they struggle both to deliver effective programmes and bring about complex organizational change. They are expected to develop new expertise in many different areas, to contribute to the development of new system, processes and tools and to adopt a leadership mindset in their work.

My Suggestion

Within the frame of Cambodia, we would ask that what is the specific of strategies and goals of the WFP, especially what is the main role of WFP within this country, if we never face any drought, natural disaster, or other factors. Then is we, take a look to the job of WFP as in the third of its operation which is about Enable Development as (a) helping people building assets that benefit them directly and (b) promote the self-reliance of poor people and communities, then is there any action in Cambodia? Are there any WFP’s actions in Cambodia?
Relevance to this question, we would concern with the goal of WFP which is about “use food aid to support Economic and Social Development” then if it is what the objective of WFP, so have this organization take any actions yet, concerning with this target? Because with the WFP, their target was stated that “Targeted interventions are needed to help to improve the lives of the poorest people_ people who, either permanently or during crisis periods, are unable to produce enough food or do not have the resources to otherwise obtain the food that they and their households require for active and healthy lives”. So that how the WFP defined that term?
Back then, if there were none or less of the activities of the WFP within this country, Cambodia, so there must be some concern or attention into this. Such like, improve in others program:
Firstly, is about “WFP’s Food for Work” projects, that this hope to pay the hunger with food to lay the foundations for a better tomorrow. Then if there were any improvement in this project, it would affect to:
1- Food assistance gives farmers time and energy to built irrigation, terracing, soil and water conservation.
2- Poverty often forces farmers to overuse soil and grazing land. The reap a barren soil and accelerate desertification. WFP provides food aid to farmers who practice soil conservation by planting trees.
Of course with this project, if it could make it successfully, then it will hope to reduce the struggle of the hungry as to improve their living in this prevent way and make development into the future.

Second, is the concerning about the “Food for Lunch” program that would support and encourage the child to go to school and avoid of quit the school. It is a very good chance in order to develop the Human Resource within the country.

Third, is within the question of “Where is the Rice come from?” To that it would be very good if the WFP could change their method or strategies of food aid by buying form the locally, or from the nearby the disaster area. This was suggested by Leonard Rogers, deputy assistant administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance at USAID, stated that “In emergencies situations, we could/would move more quickly if we could buy locally”. If this project can be done then it is a good to make the economics within this country growth up.

IV. Conclusion

In brief, we see that WFP is the food aid organization that helps the hungry poor when needed in all situations. To that we should not expect any more from them. For the two part above, one is for the organization itself that hope to improve the working system within it, and this may the good way for the WFP to keep and stay with the people longevity. Of course, everybody felt very happy when the WFP always in help when need.

V. Reference

b. WFP First Regular Session, A decade of Change: Renewal and Transformation of the World Food Programmes 1992-2002, Rome 11-14 February, 2002

[1] WFP First Regular Session, A decade of Change: Renewal and Transformation of the World Food Programmes 1992-2002, Rome 11-14 February, 2002, page 45
[2] WFP First Regular Session, p 45
[3] WFP First Regular Session, p 46
[4] WFP First Regular Session, p 47
[5] WFP First Regular Session, p 47
[6] WFP First Regular Session, p 47
[7] WFP First Regular Session, p 47-48
[8] WFP First Regular Session, p 48


Dara said...

Hi Mardy!
After, I have read about your essay, i doubt about your reforming on WFP, I just saw only the challenging of WFP, what is the exactly forming of the WFP do you want WFP to reform, you didn't mention clearly about that...
Can you clearify your statement?

onzemardy said...

hey man, within my article about that WFP. i have raise two of the reforming, but it not what i really want to reform the overall of the organization. the challenges are just what i expected as well as in the article of the WFP's session have raised in order to make the improvement on the working procedure, also the way on how to improve their working and especially to keep their project longlive or longivity of the mission of WFP. that is the reforming mean to me and my article...
any more doubt u can ask....

Vichet said...

well, i think your reform on the agriculture within Cambodia is a very good idea but i don't see it as the backbone to our economy. Yes, our economy base on agriculture but i don't believe that we can turn into a develop country base on economy. Beside, our country is facing a land dispute now that put many land out of agriculture work. This is a good projects but there are a lot of problems to solve first before this plan can be implemented

Rattana Vandy said...

Hi man,
I think you put too much what WFP is, and in your suggestion section, which is the most important ones, I don’t see much explanation by using facts or numbers, for example, about “where is the rice come from”.
Another thing is text format, I think using +, a or - is a bit confusing for me.

Rattana Vandy said...

and you overview on WFP is a bit too long

sok ly said...

Criticism of World Food Program
WFP provides food aid to farmer who practices soil conservation by planting trees; it is useful strategy to fight hunger? There is no explanation about how to do it in detail.
There is no explanation about Food for Lunch program. I have no idea about what is it and how it would support and encourage the child to go to school and avoid of quit the school.
To buy the local food is good idea, but if the country face with natural disaster how can they produce and sell to WFP. Moreover, if the local food has higher price than other countries, it is not a good way to buy expensive product.
The body of the topic is too long compare to the part of suggestion and reform. I think we just put what related to the idea of reform rather than put the general informant about the WFP.

Chhun Sokha said...

Hi Marady!
I have read your part as a whole and I found out that you have given us an account of detailed and interesting history about World Food Program, but I think that you had better put foot note after each essential and quoted information because footnote gives more specific information, in which the information is involved. As for the bibliography, it does not express as detailed and specific information as footnote or end note do. Apparently, we do need both.

Stan Starygin said...


The introduction to this paper is fairly strong but it does lack the description of your research proposal and, thus, prevents the reader from understanding what exactly the paper is going to be about, although it is clear that it will treat some WFP-related issue.

The following part -- by far the largest part of the paper -- gives an unnecessarily expansive overview of the WFP which is largely copied and pasted from the WFP website.

The bulk of evaluative quality of the paper can, perhaps, be found in its final section entitled "My Suggestion". This narrative doesn't seem to be structured and contains such unfounded statements as "WFP is not doing its job in Cambodia" alleviating hunger. I am not aware of any recent reports from Cambodia that would indicate that there are in fact cases of starvation in Cambodia. Regardless of my efforts, I failed to understand your arguments in the first part of "My Suggestion" which ends at "Food for Lunch". The latter, in itself, contains a mere paragraph which doesn't explain much and which does particularly work as a reform proposal either. The same goes for "Where the Rice Comes From".

Overall, the paper placed an inordinate amount of emphasis on the history of WFP, its mission, programs, etc and very little -- if any at all -- emphasis was placed on the topic of this assignment -- reform.