World Food Program USA

World Food Program USA (WFP USA) is a nonprofit organization that builds support in the United States to end global hunger. WFP USA engages individuals and organizations, shapes public policy and generates resources for the United Nations World Food Program.
Oct 7, 2014

WFP in Syria is facing a funding shortfall

The Syrian crisis is now in its fourth year. Having fled their homes to escape the conflict, millions of Syrians are now without jobs, money or reliable access to food. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is running out of funds to provide food for almost 6 million Syrians receiving its life-saving assistance. In Syria, the size of next month’s food ration will be reduced and in neighboring countries the number of refugees receiving food or vouchers will be cut.

WFP has reached a record number of people whose lives have been turned upside down due to this crisis. It is a cruel irony that recently, WFP has had better access inside Syria enabling them us to reach a record number of people in August, including those in hard-to-reach areas. But just as WFP has the potential to scale up, the cupboard is bare, and unless we receive new contributions we will be unable to provide people with desperately needed food.

“We have reached a critical point in our humanitarian response in Syria and in neighboring countries and unless we manage to secure significant funding in the next few days, I am afraid we will have no choice but to scale back our operation,” said Muhannad Hadi, WFP’s Regional Emergency Coordinator for the Syrian crisis.

WFP is funded entirely by contributions from governments, the private sector, other organizations and individuals. Hadi acknowledged that other emergencies were competing for donors’ attention and that aid budgets were stretched. But he said that in Syria, needs were still high and that the international community had made progress in recent weeks in gaining access to many people in hard-to-reach areas.

Muhannad Hadi adds: “The world has come together with huge generosity to provide food and other assistance over the last three years, and it is heart-breaking to think that we can no longer build on that investment that has given some stability to the shattered lives of so many people.”

Help WFP continue to reach as many people as possible in Syria by making a donation today.

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Oct 7, 2014

A Home Grown Approach

3rd grad students in Zambia with Milk
3rd grad students in Zambia with Milk

There are numerous benefits that school meals have for the children receiving them, but they are also an asset to help impoverished or disaster stricken areas to recover and help build local economies. In 2003, WFP began a program that linked the harvests of local small scale farmers to the school meals program. These home grown school meals are a critical element in making sure that communities are building sustainable resources, because food is grown and consumed locally instead of being purchased and transported from other regions.

These home grown meals can also provide children with a more diverse lunch of fresh fruits, vegetables and milk, giving kids a higher quality of food to nourish both mind and body. In Haiti, for example, 20 dairies are providing fresh milk to 32,000 children in 84 schools twice a week in addition to their normal school meal of rice, peas, fortified oils and salt. Milk is an important staple in the Haitian diet, but many children, because of the cost of milk, often have to go without it. WFP works with Haiti’s dairy farmers to improve the quality of milk produced and once the milk meets with WFP’s rigorous standards, WFP purchases it from the farmers for around $2 a gallon.

The dairy farmers are grateful to WFP for providing a stable market for their product. “This is a great way for small producers like me to do business,” says Jean-Claude one of the farmers in Haiti who WFP works with. “It’s been a very hard year but at least dairy farmers around here have a secure market for their milk.” Purchasing food from local small-scale farmers and co-ops provides these farmers with a stable income and allows markets to emerge.

Home grown school meals have become a national priority for Haiti and with WFP’s help, the Haitian government is planning a fully sustainable school meals program by 2030. Other nations are seeing the value of home grown school meals; governments around the world are looking to Home Grown School Meals as having the potential to be catalysts for local economic growth and agricultural development.

In Zambia, where more than 860,000 children in 2000 schools receive a daily school meal, WFP uses Home Grown School Meals as a key element in addressing Children’s nutritional needs. Zambia has high malnutrition rates, which can permanently jeopardize the health and wellbeing of children if the problem goes unaddressed. Working with small scale farmers, WFP is helping these farmers grow fortified crops with essential nutrients for children’s health such as rich in iron, iodine, folate and Vitamins A and D. Because home grown school meals have the unique ability to reach multiple sectors in Zambian society, they have the potential to allow Zambia to improve agriculture, nutrition and education simultaneously.

School meals programs have been one of WFP’s cornerstone programs for almost 50 years. With the continued support of donors, WFP can reach more children and continue to expand sustainable programs, like Home Grown School Meals.

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Oct 6, 2014

Hunger 101: Teaching Humanitarians In The Classroo

WFP and Education
WFP and Education

How do you teach students in Kansas about the chronic hunger that plagues their peers in Kenya?

Teachers can start with official Classroom Lesson Plans designed by WFP. Developed in partnership with the Alabama 4-H Program, Auburn University, the Cape Breton University Children's Rights Centre and the Canadian International Development Agency, these lesson plans offer a wide variety of approaches tailored to specific age groups.

For students in Grades 4-6, for example, one activity utilizes the image of a tree to help them understand the many roots of hunger through critical thinking, visualization and collaborative learning.

Junior high students, on the other hand, can create a mock U.N. conference that addresses child malnutrition and how it relates to children's rights, based on their study of the Millennium Development Goals and of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Teachers can also utilize our True/False pop quiz, What Do You Know About Hunger?, which challenges commonly held myths about poverty and nutrition.

But first, let’s begin with the basics:

Q: What is hunger?

A: The sensation of hunger—a lack of food in your stomach—is universal. But there are different types of hunger that are measured in different ways:

Under-nourishment is used to describe a condition where one’s food intake lacks enough calories (energy) to meet minimum needs for an active life.

Malnutrition is characterized by inadequate consumption of protein, energy and micronutrients and by frequent infections and diseases. Malnutrition is measured not by how much food is eaten, but by physical measurements of the body—weight, height and age.

Wasting is an indicator of acute malnutrition that reflects a recent and severe process that has led to substantial weight loss. This is usually the result of starvation and/or disease.

There are more than 800 million undernourished people in the world, which means 1 in 9 people will go to bed hungry tonight.

 

Q: Why does hunger exist? Is there a food shortage in the world?

There is enough food in the world for everyone to have the nourishment necessary for a healthy and productive life. Each year, 1.3 billion tons of food goes to waste—about of all food produced for human consumption.

Hunger is not about a shortage of food, it’s about power, inequality and access to resources. Hunger feeds on poverty, conflict and natural disaster.

Global hunger is one of the greatest solvable problems of our time. Each year, hunger kills more people than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

By educating the next generation of humanitarian heroes in the classroom, teachers in the U.S. can help create a brighter future for everyone.  

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