WFP Report Reveals Funding Gap in International Food Assistance
UN Photo/Marco Dormino
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A report by WFP assesses the state of international food assistance against a background of current humanitarian crises and natural disasters.

Funding for food assistance has more than doubled between 2009 and 2016.

Nonetheless, a funding gap of almost than US$3 billion remains to address the needs of countries in crisis.

19 September 2017: Coinciding with the release of the 2017 State of Food Insecurity and Nutrition in the World Report (SOFI 2017), which found that the number of hungry people around the world increased in 2016 for the first time in a decade, a report by the World Food Programme (WFP) on the state of food assistance indicates that, despite a rapid increase in funding for international food assistance, large gaps remain to cover the needs of countries affected by natural disasters and humanitarian crises.

Released at a joint event with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the report titled, ‘World Food Assistance 2017: Taking Stock Looking Ahead,’ assesses trends, challenges and innovative food assistance programmes against the background of rapidly increasing needs due to complex crises and emergencies.

The study finds that, while WFP’s annual food assistance expenditures have more than doubled from US$2.2 billion in 2009 to US$5.3 billion in 2016, the available funding falls short of current needs. Humanitarian crises are increasing in number and severity due to conflict, extreme weather events and other disruptions, creating food assistance needs equaling US$7.03 billion per year. This exceeds funding available in 2016 by US$2.86 billion. To help bridging this funding gap, the report suggests: exploring funding from new sources in addition to existing donors, such as funding from middle-income countries and the private sector, and reducing earmarking of funds and multiple reporting requirements to allow using funds more effectively.

The report also addresses national food assistance, regional differences in food assistance, the evolution of food assistance programmes, and constraints through lack of access for humanitarian aid in crisis situations. The publication recommends that: policy makers address drivers of vulnerability and hunger to increase humanitarian access; produce stability and reduce the cost of food assistance; improve the quality of food assistance programmes; strengthen national capacity and South-South cooperation; fill data gaps about food assistance; and develop a research agenda on challenges and opportunities facing food assistance. [IFPRI Press Release][IFPRI Launch Event][Report Website][World Food Assistance 2017 – Taking Stock and Looking Ahead][Key Findings]

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