Tuesday, February 15, 2011

WFP Announces Record Food Purchases

Last Friday, the World Food Programme (WFP), the UN agency in charge of fighting hunger, made an encouraging announcement: of the US$ 1.25 billion procured in food commodities, more than 80 percent came from developing countries including Viet Nam, Guatemala and Ethiopia. The food has been used this year to provide nutritional aid for the people affected by the Haiti earthquake, the severe drought in the Sahel region, the Pakistan flooding and the long-lasting situation in Somalia.

WFP is on of the World's largest food buyers. This means that when buying from developing countries, the WFP not only purchases food to be delivered to those who need it the most, but also invests inin the agricultural economies and boosts the economy and trade of developing countries. This has especial importance nowadays with record food prices that, combined with environmental or human-made disasters, are behind severe alimentary crisis, particularly in Africa.

This change in the food suppliers, combined with other improvements and innovations such as growing donor quotas, new purchasing mechanisms and new "hunger tools," allow the WFP to acquire food stocks in bulk with enough anticipation and at lower prices. This saves money, delivery time... and lives.

- David Nebreda

SOURCE: World Food Programme