In the fight against global hunger, WFP provides food assistance in crises, disasters and conflicts, working with local communities to improve their nutritional status and to strengthen their resilience.
WFP was first established in 1961 by the UN General Assembly together with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as a three-year emergency food aid programme, and was established on a permanent basis in 1965.
Tasks and goals
Since its inception, WFP has pursued a vision: a world where everyone has access to the food necessary for an active and healthy life.
The organization's strategy is defined in the Strategic Plan, which is renewed every four years.
The current Strategic Plan 2017-2021, adopted one year after the adoption of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, aligns WFP with the global call for action of Agenda 2030 and prioritizes the ending of hunger and food insecurity, especially of the poorest and most vulnerable people.
The Strategic Plan 2017-2021 has set in motion a process of organisational reform, changing from project-based to programme-based work by creating new planning and operational structures and by prioritising support for national efforts to achieve SDGs rather than direct aid. The process of reform has now been largely completed.
Germany actively supports this reform process, i.a. through its membership in the WFP Executive Board.
Core task of the organization remains the immediate assistance in emergencies and crises, as well as saving lives and livelihoods.
These programmes include
- direct provision of food cash or vouchers for those affected by crises and disasters, supplemented by
- transitional assistance for stabilization after acute emergencies and for covering the gap between emergency assistance and subsequent development activities.
In addition, WFP is involved in long-term assistance in support of
- economic and social development,
- food security, as well as
- reduction of under- and malnutrition, particularly of infants and mothers.
Such long-term food security measures will strengthen people's resilience to prevent new crises or mitigate their effects.
In addition to food assistance, WFP provides logistical services to humanitarian actors in crisis areas (such as air services, transport and storage facilities for relief supplies).
WFP now faces new challenges. Humanitarian needs continue to grow, crisis situations are increasingly complex and protracted, and climate change threatens the livelihoods of the most vulnerable people.
How WFP will operate in the future in the nexus between emergency assistance - development - peace, including climate change, is the crucial question that will determine the strategic direction of WFP in the coming years.
WFP plans to support 88 million people in 83 countries by 2020.
Since 1996, the Executive Board has functioned as the steering and supervisory body of WFP. It consists of 36 Member States, half of which are elected by the UN Economic and Social Council and the FAO Council, respectively.
The Executive Board meets three times a year to review the projects proposed by the WFP Executive Director as well as the administrative and program budgets.
Germany is WFP founding member and member of the Executive Board.
The Executive Director of WFP, since April 2017 the US-American David Beasley, is responsible for the management of the organization and all its programs, projects and other activities.
WFP also has four Deputy Executive Directors for specific portfolios.
The UN Secretary-General and the FAO Director-General jointly appoint the WFP Executive Director for a five-year term.
WFP is financed exclusively by voluntary contributions.
In 2019, it received funds totalling USD 8.3 billion. This is almost double the amount received in 2014 (USD 4.8 billion).
For 2020, WFP estimates its financial needs at USD 11.1 billion.
WFP and Germany
Germany has been the second largest bilateral donor to WFP since 2016.
In 2019, Germany's contributions to WFP amounted to USD 886.5 million.
Additional funding for WFP is provided through the European Commission Budget.
Liaison Office Berlin
In addition to eight liaison offices in major donor countries, there are more than 70 country offices.
The Berlin WFP liaison office was founded at the end of 2004 with the aim of expanding cooperation with governments in German-speaking Europe (Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, German-speaking Switzerland) and raising public awareness for food security matters.
As of March 2020
WFP Executive Director
David Beasley (United States of America), since 5 April 2017
World Food Programme
Via Cesare Giulio Viola, 68
Parco die Medici
I - Rom 00148, Italien
Tel.: +39 06 65131
Fax. +39 06 6513 2840
In order to achieve a world without hunger by 2030 with the sustainable development goals SDG 2 (“Zero Hunger”) and SDG 17 (“Partnerships”), humanitarian aid must be interlinked with innovation.