To mark World Food Day, the World Food Programme (WFP) is highlighting the need for bold and constructive partnerships between governments, businesses and organizations that will create the requisite momentum towards achieving Zero Hunger and shaping a brighter future for millions of children.
“Ending hunger in our lifetimes is possible. We can build a world where everyone, everywhere has access to nutritious food – if we all work together, as partners,” said WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin. “Whether in a humanitarian or developmental context, partnerships must be bold, strategic and innovative, and be measured by how they change the lives of the world’s most vulnerable people.” said WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin.
Innovation plays a fundamental role in ensuring that partnerships catalyse and drive change, while also rallying ordinary people around the globe to take action against hunger.
In Rwanda, WFP and partners such a UNHCR, other UN agencies and the Ministry in charge of refugee affairs provide assistance to improve the food security and nutritional status of food insecure households including refugees. WFP purchases most of food commodities (cereals and beans) locally for its humanitarian activities to feed over 150,000 refugees hosted in six camps. WFP in partnership with FAO, IFAD, other agencies and government institutions also provides technical expertise to support the development of national capacity in the areas of vulnerability analysis, disaster risk reduction and management, home-grown school feeding and market access for smallholder farmers through the Purchase for Progress initiative (P4P). Over 80,000 primary school children from food insecure districts of Nyamagabe, Rutsiro, Karongi and Nyaruguru receive a more varied daily diet from locally sourced food from small-holder farmers--- while many others, such as farmers, traders, and local communities, also benefit financially.
In addition, WFP invests in Post-Harvest Loss Reduction (PHLR) to enhance the Post-Harvest Management capacities of Smallholder Farmers in the south, east and western provinces benefit from this scheme, with the overall goal to improve smallholder farmers’ incomes, as well as food and nutritional security, through reduced post-harvest losses and greater market integration.
Post-harvest losses have impacts on food and nutritional security, not only financially for the small-holder farmers, but also in terms of reduced quantity and quality of food available for consumption. If consumed, damaged grains can pose serious health hazards. One such hazard are aflatoxins which can lead to serious illness and even death. WFP has done a lot in capacity development and education of small-holder farmers on post-harvest management. The training workshops are designed to address inappropriate post-harvest practices; poor crop drying systems (leading to grain rotting and fungal infestation); poor storage systems (resulting in qualitative and quantitative losses from insect and weather spoilage); and food safety issues.
As WFP’s Executive Director, Ms Ertharin Cousin, explains: “Our changing climate demands that we put the resilience of families and communities at the heart of our efforts to reach Zero Hunger. When providing assistance, WFP must deploy all our creativity through tools that can help these vulnerable poor children and their families to better deal with climate shocks”.