World Food Programme - WFP


The United Nations World Food Program is the largest food assistance organization worldwide.

WFP Logo
WFP Logo © StäV Rom

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 five years.

The current Strategic Plan 2017-2021, approved one year after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, aligns WFP's work with the Global Call for Action of the 2030 Agenda, which prioritizes efforts to end poverty, hunger and inequality.

The Strategic Plan 2017-2021 has initiated an organizational reform process, which will maximize WFP's contribution to national efforts to achieve the SDGs by creating new planning and operational structures.

Germany actively supports this reform process, i.a. through its membership in the WFP Executive Board.

Core task of the organization remains  the immediate assistancein emergencies and crises, as well as saving lives and livelihoods, especially against the background of rising humanitarian needs and increasingly complex and protracted crisis situations.

These programs 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).

Each year, WFP supports about 80 million people in more than 80 countries.

Institutional structure

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 exclusively funded through voluntary contributions.

WFP estimates its financial needs in 2019 at 9.8 billion USD.

WFP and Germany

In addition, contributions to WFP are made through the budget of the European Commission.

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 January 2019

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
E-mail: wfpinfo@wfp.org
Internet: http://www.wfp.org

Additional content

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.

WFP Innovation Accelerator

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