World Food ProgrammeEstablished in 1963, the World Food Programme (WFP) is the United Nations frontline agency in the fight against global hunger. Since 1963, the Rome-based organization has invested US$27.8 billion and more than 43 million tonnes of food to combat hunger, promote economic and social development and provide relief assistance in emergencies throughout the world. In 2002, WFP fed 72 million people in 82 countries, including most of the world's refugees and internally displaced people.
Eligibility for WFP assistance is linked to criteria like gross national product and the food security situation. Some contributing countries can attach particular conditions to the release of their contribution to recipient countries.
WFP is a major contributor to forest sector investment in food-deficit areas - it supports forestry activities through exchange of labour for food although part of its aid is also monetized.
Priorities related to the forestry sector
All forest- and environment-related activities can be supported by WFP assistance if they primarily address food insecurity. Increasingly WFP involves beneficiaries in decision-making and project implementation and enhances the capacity of target groups to improve their long-term food security. WFP assistance to forestry tends to concentrate on labour intensive works and on community self-development related to agroforestry, watershed management, soil conservation and rural development activities executed within the framework of national development programmes.
On average, a WFP supported forestry project ranges from US$1 to US$15 million (most of this being the value of the food provided) and lasts from three to five years. Smaller projects can be considered in certain specific cases. The country has to provide an appropriate implementation frame and make provision for food handling, storage and transport.
WFP develops its programme inside a country by taking into account its specific situation. WFP assistance must be integrated into national strategies and coordinated with other programmes in support of the poorest beneficiary groups. Assistance is envisaged following an official request for WFP assistance sent by a national government to WFP headquarters via the country office. Since 1996, WFP has adopted a country programme approach. The country programme cycle begins with drafting a country strategy outline that clarifies the context and rationale of WFP involvment. Then WFP staff produce a country programme document which proposes an integrated set of activities to the WFP executive board to achieve strategic objectives. Within this framework, specific proposals are formulated by governments with assistance from the WFP country office and/or the operations department at headquarters. Projects worth over US$3 million have to be approved by the executive board, which meets twice a year, while smaller projects can be approved at any time by the WFP executive director. The project implementing agency is the government. After approval, programmes and specific projects are implemented. Recently much greater responsibility has been given to country offices in programming and supervising project implementation. Mid-term review, completion evaluation and special evaluation reports ensure feedback to WFP¿s executive board and respective governments on the progress in implementing each country programme.
There is a WFP country office (or a representative located in the UNDP office) in most developing countries entitled to food assistance. After the acceptance of the general request for assistance, WFP helps governments to formulate country programmes and specific projects. WFP field missions draw on WFP headquarters staff and consultants with appropriate expertise to identify, appraise and evaluate the project proposals. The technical expertise is often provided by UN agencies and mainly FAO. WFP sometimes finances a project preparation facility (up to US$20 000) to help a government formulate projects. But in general WFP does not provide technical assistance itself and seeks cofinancing with other agencies like development banks, UN technical agencies (particularly FAO) and donor countries for that purpose. The period of time needed from the request to the project start is from six to 12 months depending on the degree of maturity and the size of the project.
World Food Programme
Viale Cristoforo Colombo, 426
Tel: +39 06 65131
Fax: +39 06 59602348 / 59602111
Web site: http://www.wfp.org
More information about WFP programmes, priorities and procedures can be also obtained from the WFP field offices in every developing country where WFP currently intervenes.