WFP

Students eating hot meals at their school desks

School meals programmes are dishing up hope for millions of children at the forefront of the global food crisis, according to a new WFP State of School Feeding Worldwide 2022 report.

students and adults holding up hydroponic planter

Make every drop count

Students in a rural school near Gwembe learn about soilless cultivation, or hydroponics, in a greenhouse set up by the World Food Programme (WFP) in Zambia. It will come as no surprise that the most food-insecure people live in developing countries and in arid areas where little water is available – or too much water, of too poor a quality. Water is essential for food production, but decades of poor water management, misuse and pollution have degraded freshwater supplies and ecosystems. WFP helps to replenish water-depleted soils and aquifers through programmes that provide communities with water access and availability. These benefits also help to increase people’s food security, empowering them over the long term.

Türkiye-Syria earthquakes:

Syria was a largely forgotten crisis until it was rocked by deadly earthquakes on its border with Türkiye. More than half of Syria’s population, or 12.1 million people, are food-insecure with a further 2.9 million on the brink of food insecurity. Nutrition is becoming a significant problem as malnutrition rates reach levels never seen before. Since the first earthquake on 6 February, WFP has provided immediate food assistance to over 2 million affected people in Syria, including 1.4 million in non-Government-controlled areas in the northwest. WFP urgently requires donation to maintain regular emergency assistance across Syria.

Jhumi is taking online training through a WFP-supported online portal to bridge the gap in digital literacy. Across countries and cultures “food and meal preparations” are often the work of women, but it does not mean they have the power of decision-making in how to use the resources of their households to ensure food security.  If women have lower education rates, limited access to information such as weather forecasts, market information, limits on having capital assets, then changing the inequality in wider food systems becomes harder. Partnerships are key to empowering women in developing countries with computer literacy skills and greater digital inclusion requires “good partnership at education level, with bodies that can provide the equipment, IT companies for having access to WiFi. 

Ukrainian children displaced by the war

One year ago, WFP did not have an office in Ukraine. This lower middle-income agricultural powerhouse did not require one any longer, and operations shut down in 2018. That – and much more – changed dramatically in the days following the invasion. The war’s effects swiftly rippled outwards. Food, oil and fertilizer prices soared, affecting vulnerable communities in countries thousands of miles away – 20 million of them in the Horn of Africa alone. WFP has supported more than 10 million people to date in the country with 1.3 billion meals. Today, over 80 percent of WFP aid is directed at those living near the frontlines.

Kyrgyzstan’s northern At-Bashy district

A herbal industry opens horizons for mountain farmers

An herbal industry opens horizons for mountain farmers

The unforgiving climate and mountainous terrain in Kyrgyzstan’s northern At-Bashy district make agriculture risky and employment opportunities rare. Rich in natural resources, landlocked Kyrgyzstan is nonetheless highly dependent on remittances and foreign assistance, making the country vulnerable to external shocks. WFP-led collaboration is giving women like Baktygul new income-earning opportunities by capitalizing on At-Bashy’s clean water and fresh air to grow herbs for essential oils. Batygul counted among some 1,000 smallholder farmers trained by WFP on herb-planting agro-technologies, together produce and supply upto 3000kg of the raw materials that are processed into essential oils and dried products for use in industries.  

A damaged children's bicycle is seen with crowds of people in the background

As of February 8, WFP had reached 64,000 affected people in both countries with hot meals and plans to scale up sharply following the deadly earthquakes that struck Türkiye and Syria.

 

DRC and South Sudan crises

Pope Francis to cast spotlight on ‘forgotten’ crises

The devastating fallout of conflict, and the importance of building peace, are likely to be key themes for Pope Francis when he visits DRC and South Sudan next week. It sheds a rare spotlight on two of the world’s most fragile countries, where unrest has helped drive hunger to alarming and sometimes catastrophic levels.  Between South Sudan and DRC, WFP has reached more 11 million of the most vulnerable with food and nutritional assistance in 2022, focusing especially on conflict-hit women and children. But as needs in both countries grow, WFP faces multi-million dollar funding shortfalls, forcing them to reduce their support to even the hungriest people.

international day of education-afghan girls

Empty stomachs, hard times for Afghanistan's girls

Today, as Afghan girls and women face growing education and work restrictions — and are hardest hit by the country’s hunger crisis — reaching students like Hazra is more important than ever. Indeed, nearly half the children WFP reaches with school feeding support are girls. Launched in Afghanistan more than two decades ago, WFP’s school feeding programme — which also includes nutrition snacks made of local ingredients — aims to link food security and better nutrition with education among school-aged children.

Chad farmer Mahamat Kary surveys his flood-battered maize crop. He received WFP assistance.

Climate action: what's next in 2023

During 2022, WFP provided food and other assistance to over 160 million people, including many hit by climate disasters. In over 30 countries, WFP also supported communities to better anticipate and prepare for climate impacts. With this year promising another wave of climate-related disasters, let’s explore what lies ahead for the climate – and WFP in 2023.

climbing for climate change

Climb-it change

It was a year of unprecedented climate-related disasters with drought, floods and heatwaves, often intersecting with conflict, devastating communities across the world in a year of unprecedented hunger. Looking back at 2022, perhaps the world can take inspiration from the Cholitas Escaladoras Maya, a group of women mountaineers, who are flying the WFP flag high in the mountain peaks of Bolivia. They are sharing messages of Indigenous women’s empowerment, promoting the production and consumption of ancestral foods – and providing first-hand accounts of how climate-change is changing the landscape in the altiplano, or highlands, whose mountains are sacred to them. 

climbing for climate change

Climb-it change

It was a year of unprecedented climate-related disasters with drought, floods and heatwaves, often intersecting with conflict, devastating communities across the world in a year of unprecedented hunger. Looking back at 2022, perhaps the world can take inspiration from the Cholitas Escaladoras Maya, a group of women mountaineers, who are flying the WFP flag high in the mountain peaks of Bolivia. They are sharing messages of Indigenous women’s empowerment, promoting the production and consumption of ancestral foods – and providing first-hand accounts of how climate-change is changing the landscape in the altiplano, or highlands, whose mountains are sacred to them. 

student playing online game

As it turns 10, WFP's popular philanthropic trivia game is becoming more than just a fun platform for testing your knowledge and earning rice grains. Freerice is now a Youth Hub aimed at building a community of Hunger Heroes.

WFP’s down-to-earth approach to climate and hunger

Soil degradation threatens crop productivity, plant health, the quality of food and, ultimately, people; a hefty consideration as we mark World Soil Day on Monday (5 December). Every year, soil erosion is responsible for the loss of 24 billion tons of fertile land. Land use plays a key role in mitigating climate change. Healthy forests and soils help to regulate the planet’s temperature and store carbon. Every year, the WFP rehabilitates almost 200,000 hectares of land around the world – more than twice the size of New York City.

Two boys playing on terrace.

In Syria after years of conflict, 12 million people are food insecure. WFP Goodwill Ambassador George Stroumboulopoulos visited the country in September to see what life is like for people wrestling with unrelenting crises for all this time. In Aleppo he met Ghufran, a former Taekwondo champ, who said her martial arts training helps combat hard times. Ghufran took on cleaning, cooking, and tutoring jobs, to make a living for herself and her three children. But last year as economic downturn led to skyrocketing prices across the country, Ghufran’s income fell short of making ends meet. She turned to WFP, which provides monthly food assistance for families like Ghufran’s. Find out more about Ghufran’s story.