Senior UN official highlights new tools to provide food aid to fragile countries

1 December 2011

The head of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) stressed today the importance of providing more support to fragile countries, adding that new agreements reached during this week’s aid effectiveness forum in the Republic of Korea (ROK) would help build trust and achieve better results for vulnerable populations.

“In fragile States, food-based safety nets and food and nutrition security are an essential tool in building peace and security and in protecting the most marginalized,” Executive Director Josette Sheeran said in her remarks at the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, held in Busan.

“It is essential to build resiliency and bridge the gap between emergency measures and early recovery and development.”

Ms. Sheeran said a new deal for engaging with fragile countries had been agreed during the forum, adding that the WFP would be rolling out new technologies and tools to accelerate progress. These include the Purchase for Progress (P4P) programme, which works with small farmers to connect them to formal markets, increasing their revenues and stimulating agricultural production.

In addition, Ms. Sheeran said WFP is deploying other aid efficiency strategies such as the use of mobile phone technology to deliver food vouchers, developing locally-produced specialized foods which help prevent malnutrition in children, and investing in early warning systems to facilitate emergency response.

Echoing yesterday’s remarks by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the forum, Ms. Sheeran stressed the role of the private sector to help the world’s so-called “least developed countries,” or LDCs.

“The private sector is a vital partner in the fight against hunger and is now among WFP’s top 10 partners and donors. For example, through Project Laser Beam, WFP brings together the expertise of UN agencies with that of Fortune 500 companies, and others in the private sector, to work with local governments and companies to find new solutions to addressing child malnutrition,” she said.

The forum, which finished today, brought together representatives of governments, the private sector and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from around the world to discuss how to make aid more effective and helpful to those in need.

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