WFP is harnessing the power of data to beat the clock in the emergency response

Story by Vincent Matak, Communications Business Partner, Technology Division

Using real-time data, WFP was able to immediately divert enough assistance to support 150,000 people following the Port of Beirut explosion last August. Photo: WFP/Malak Jaafar

Every extra minute or extra mile can be the difference between life and death in an emergency. And when the Port of Beirut erupted in a devastating blast nearly a year ago, throwing thousands of families into chaos, the sound of the clock ticking was deafening.

That’s why WFP is harnessing the power of data to beat the clock, helping staff reach more people, more quickly — no matter the barrier. …

WFP wins prestigious international award for advanced analytics

A woman sits with bags of WFP rice at a general food distribution in northern Mozambique. Photo: WFP/Sean Rajman

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is the 2021 winner of the prestigious Franz Edelman Award, which recognizes excellence in advanced analytics, operations research, and management science. Previous winners include IBM, Intel and UPS. The award recognizes WFP’s use of advanced analytics to drive every donor dollar it receives further to save lives, at a time when the growing needs due to the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic are meeting tighter funding outlooks. WFP aims to reach 138 million people with food assistance in 2021 in over 80 countries, after reaching a record 114 million people in 2020.


Voices from the field share how WFP’s Common Services supported the response to the pandemic

WFP staff supervise the loading of health cargo to support the COVID-19 response at the Humanitarian Response Hub in Liège, Belgium. WFP/Valentin Bianchi

As global transport markets stalled due to government measures to curb the spread of the virus, WFP’s COVID-19 Global Common Services provided a logistical lifeline to the humanitarian and health response during the pandemic.

Thanks to a network of eight strategically-located hubs and air links that connect global supply chain, WFP has been able to transport nearly 150,000 m3 of critical medical and humanitarian cargo to 173 countries around the world on behalf of 73 organizations.

This impressive feat was made possible by the generous…

How small local shops can be tools to fight hunger

Story by Kelly Stablein

Lekoane Busa, a local grocery retailer in Pontseng, Quthing district, Lesotho, faced business challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: WFP/‘Malehloa Letsie

COVID-19 has disrupted the lives of everyone around the world and small businesses are no exception. Lekoane Busa, a small grocery retailer and farmer in Lesotho, would know. He has been running Tsau-Tsau General Dealer since 1963 — the shop enabled him to send his eight children to school. But this year is different.

“Business has not been the same since the pandemic began,” says Busa. “Many of our customers have lost their jobs so they are spending less, and as a result, we are making less too.”

Lesotho, a country landlocked by South Africa, was…

COVID-19 made 2020 one of WFP’s most challenging years yet, but thanks to UK funding, our life-saving programmes have continued in Mozambique

Photo: WFP/Chico Carneiro

By Vanessa Jones
Mozambique is affected by climate events more than any other country in the world. Each year, almost half the population is exposed to floods or drought, and much of the country is at risk of cyclones. With 80 percent of people relying on agriculture to survive, lack of food and malnutrition are a constant threat.

Since 2017, the UK has been funding WFP Mozambique to save lives when disaster strikes. Thanks to generous support of its Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), we are able to reach emergency-struck communities with specialized nutritious foods (SNF) to treat children…

As the World Food Programme receives the Nobel Peace Prize medal, 5 staffers look back at responses to conflict and climate change. By Sheshadri Kottearachchi

On 10 December 2020, United Nations World Food Programme will receive the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize medal for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.

Pathmarajani Pathmanathan, Project Lead, WFP Sri Lanka

Peace to me is being able to go to bed with a clear mind and waking up the next morning with the same peace of mind — knowing that there will be nutritious food on the table.

My responsibilities while working at WFP during…

As the World Food Programme is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Abdulaziz Abdulmomin speaks to Susana from South Sudan

Susana and her niece received their food rations and were waiting under the shade to avoid the scorching heat of the sun before finding a donkey cart to take them home. Photo: WFP/Abdulaziz Abdulmomin

On 10 December 2020, the World Food Programme will receive the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize medal for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.

App allows users to donate meals via their mobile phones

Members of the ShareTheMeal community have shared close to 90 million meals with vulnerable people across the world. Photo: WFP/Arete/Ed Ram

On 1 December, the World Food Programme (WFP)’s fundraising app, ShareTheMeal , was recognized by both Google and Apple as one of the best apps of 2020, winning Google’s “Best apps of 2020” in the category “App for Good” and Apple’s “Best of 2020” in the category “Trend of the Year: Making a Difference”.

World Food Programme and Unicef collaborate to assist vulnerable communities

Vanessa, a 9-year-old student, enjoys a meal at the Batep’a school after schools reopened in São Tomé and Príncipe. Photo: WFP/Jorcilina de Almeida Correia

By Alessandro Valori

“Each day, I share a meal with my students to foster a sense of community, and seeing them smile makes me very happy,” says Paul Jorge, the Director of the school of Batep’a, in São Tomé and Príncipe, Africa’s second smallest country — an island nation inhabited by just over 215,000 people.

“I tell them how the food arrived on their plates, and how the kitchen helpers have prepared their meal with the best ingredients available. Like education, nutrition is a social process. It’s development. It’s our life.”

The islands of São Tomé and Príncipe sit in…

Food assistance and partnership help people overcome the most testing times

MAKING THE JOURNEY EASIER . . . Memory Nchihindo and Elizabeth Mazambani from Sauyemwa village, in Zambezi Region support each other on their ‘HIV journey’. Photo: WFP/Nomhle Kangootui

By Nomhle Kangootui

Memory Nchihindo, a mother of three, has been living with HIV for the past ten years.

“I was in a very dark place when I was first diagnosed and thought my life was over,” she says. “I was stressed and confused because I didn’t understand what HIV was back then. I was discriminated against, alienated and stigmatized.”

Family and friends’ “negative talk” had left Memory feeling like a failure — it drove her into a deep depression and made her want to give up on life, she tells me.

It’s a typical winter’s morning when I visit…

World Food Programme

The United Nations World Food Programme works towards a world of Zero Hunger.

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