A day at the WFP Headquarters: Fellows gain insights about nutrition in conflict-ridden areasAlethea
The Fellows visited the World Food Programme (WFP) headquarters to have a closer look at the work done by WFP and to understand how humanitarian UN Agencies like the WFP work in disaster prone and conflict-ridden areas. At WFP, they met Uma Thapa, Senior Government Partnership Officer, who briefly described the different activities carried out by WFP, particularly in the area of nutrition.
Upon arrival at the headquarter, a WFP staff member took the Fellows around the WFP premises. They were shown the special areas where those staff of WFP who laid down their lives in the service of the hungry poor were remembered. This gave them a different perspective about the joys and sacrifice of UN assignments. The Fellows were impressed by the cleanliness and orderliness of the different conference and meeting rooms of WFP which were also very well equipped and also the effective use made in adorning the corridors with photos of the field work done by WFP.
Uma Thapathen introduced the different activities of the WFP, particularly in areas of food security, health and nutrition, which are areas of special interest to the Fellows. In her presentation, Uma Thapa highlighted the following key areas:
- For any financial matter with the donors, WFP has its own strong and efficient monitoring system to ensure transparency, accountability and cost-effective results.
- During 2018, WFP raised US$ 7.4 billion through voluntary contribution.
- WFP is the largest humanitarian organisation in the world with a staff of more than 16,000.
- Ten years ago, 60% of their budget was meant for development purposes like school feeding programs, etc. However, with rising conflict areas and humanitarian crises in countries like Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, etc, almost 80% of the current budget goes for relief and humanitarian activities.
Takeaway from the visit…
- When one works in difficult areas, it is important to develop sound financial management and monitoring of logistic systems. This is also true for when one deals with partner organisations who work in remote areas.
- Resource mobilisation must be given a high priority if services to the community are to continue.
- It is important that the development programme should be continued after every crisis to sustain peace. This is particularly true for indigenous areas so that indigenous communities will have the confidence to revive their own indigenous food systems and to sustain their livelihoods.