EU statements: WFP Protection and Accountability Policy


EU statements on Agenda Items 4, 5, 6 and 7a WFP Protection and Accountability Policy

EU statement on Agenda Item 4 a

WFP Protection and Accountability Policy

Mister President

I am speaking on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.

We take note of the WFP Protection and Accountability Policy. We welcome WFP’s engagement in Inter-Agency Standing Committee processes related to protection and the consultation process that has accompanied the preparation of this Policy.

We strongly underline the centrality of protection for WFP`s operations. This is crucial given the complex nature of many crises. Yet, protection has not been systematically central for the implementation of the response on the ground. We are therefore looking to WFP as a major humanitarian aid agency with large country presence to strongly advocate for and consistently implement the centrality of protection. In this vein, we welcome that the new policy applies in all contexts where WFP works.

In the current context, where humanitarian workers are increasingly targeted, we recall WFP’s duty to ensure the security of its staff in the field and protect their staff and humanitarian access, linking with local authorities.

Systematic mainstreaming as well as integration of protection aspects should be a key feature of WFP’s response and properly monitored. We expect that based on this Policy, WFP develops clear and practical operational guidance for its field staff to ensure full implementation. We also encourage an ambitious capacity-building plan for staff and partners in this respect.

The focus on gender and disability inclusion and targeted actions is very welcome, and we call for concrete implementation across country operations. We appreciate the emphasis on risk analysis and the disaggregation of data by sex, age, disability and other factors related to barriers to inclusion. This is crucial to fully understand vulnerability, define programming priorities and reinforce adequate protection outcomes.

We encourage an even stronger focus on accountability to affected populations, which is also a key commitment of the Grand Bargain. Particular attention is required to better communication with communities and the establishment of safe and responsive feedback and complaints mechanisms that are suitable for a given context. In order to increase accountability, we strongly encourage WFP to systematically set up such mechanisms jointly with other aid agencies. This will facilitate the affected populations’ access to them.

We welcome that an implementation plan is presented jointly with the Policy. However, we are concerned that no estimated budget is presented for the implementation of the Policy. We refer to previous Board discussions, underlining that no policy can be reasonably adopted without having an estimate of the resources required. At the same time, we reiterate our strong encouragement to use the Programme Support and Administrative Budget to strengthen protection capacity throughout the organization.

Thank you.

Agenda Item 5 a

WFP Management Plan (2021-2023)

Mister President

I am speaking on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.

We take note of the WFP Management Plan (2021-2023). We express our appreciation for the work done by WFP staff and implementing partners worldwide, often in difficult circumstances. We are delighted that this commitment has been rewarded with the Nobel Peace Prize recently.

We strongly condemn attacks on aid workers. The recent attack on a WFP food aid convoy in South Sudan is a sad reminder that International Humanitarian Law and humanitarian work need to be safeguarded.

We are seriously concerned by the increase in acute food insecurity and the number of people in need, in particular due to conflict, climate change and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. We therefore welcome WFP’s emphasis on life-saving activities and their prioritisation in case of budget shortfalls. In order to address more complex needs as well as root causes, we welcome and support WFP’s commitment to the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus, in line with its mandate to save and change lives. In this context, we strongly encourage WFP to systematically seek synergies with other stakeholders and pursue its efforts for collective outcomes and robust cooperation and distribution of tasks with other UN agencies and other relevant organisations. We hope to see this properly reflected in all second-generation CSPs.

We welcome the 49% increase of nutrition inputs in WFP’s l ife-saving work and encourage further enhanced partnership with UNICEF and other aid organizations to tackle acute malnutrition. WFP’s efforts to advance gender equality by implementing recommendations of the last evaluation on Gender Policy (2015-2020) is also welcome .per prioritisation, based on coordinated, people-centred and context-based needs assessments, as well as collaboration and synergies are the more important in view of the projected rise in needs and the integration of COVID-19 considerations into programming. We are concerned about the growing funding gap, which clearly reflects the serious humanitarian situation the world is currently facing. While appreciating WFP’s assessment of global humanitarian needs, we call at the same time on WFP to keep in mind rising constraints on donor budgets over the coming years. We hope that cautious planning, coherent with the new WFP funding strategy, will be conducive to ensure successful implementation of the Management Plan.

We welcome the development of the Disability Roadmap and emphasize the need to mobilize the necessary resources to implement it.

We encourage regular revision of budget projections and related discussions in the Board. The same holds true for regular informationsharing on the Bottom-up Strategic Budgeting Exercise.

Furthermore, we welcome WFP’s intention to identify new funding sources and are looking forward to being kept informed about their cost- benefit ratio as well as possible joint efforts with other UN agencies and other relevant organisations. We also encourage the identification of new, civilsociety based collaboration and the involvement of these actors in humanitarian work.

Given sobering funding prospects, we caution against further increase in the Programme Support and Administrative Budget. However, we welcome and encourage the use of the PSA to promote emergency support activities and capacity strengthening for key cross-cutting issues such as protection.

Overall, we appreciate WFP’s efforts to increase efficiency. We encourage WFP to keep up these efforts, including through the further roll out of cashbased transfers and related enhanced coordination.

With existing vulnerabilities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to understand the impact of the pandemic not only on people’s food insecurity but on national, regional and global food systems. The 2021 Food Systems Summit will provide an opportunity to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis with strengthened food systems that will meet environmental, economic and social challenges.

Thank you.


Agenda Item 6 a

Summary report on the evaluation of the country strategic plan for Cameroon (2018–2020) and Management response

Mister President

I am speaking on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.

We welcome the evaluation of the Country Strategic Plan for Cameroon and invite WFP to build on the findings for the design of the next CSP.

We take note of the finding that programme efficiency was marked by slow delivery, high transaction costs and recurrent pipeline breaks, mainly due to human and financial resource constraints and severe contextual challenges.

In this context, we strongly encourage WFP to implement Recommendation 2 and strengthen partnerships with other aid organizations. This will foster an integrated response in line with WFP’s comparative advantage and build synergies with other agencies as per their comparative advantages. In particular, we encourage stronger partnership with UNHCR on food assistance in refugee settings. To this end, for the protracted crisis in Eastern Cameroon, we encourage WFP to further work with UNHCR and other stakeholders to shift from a sectoral emergency response to an approach focusing on the basic needs of the population not able to cope at all. This WFP-UNHCR partnership could also facilitate livelihood support for vulnerable people who have some capabilities to engage in economic activities in order to cover their basic needs.

In view of the limited donor funding made available for the humanitarian response in Cameroon, we also support Recommendation 2 as regards a fundraising strategy with diversification of sources and as regards increased donor engagement in technical dialogue. Such dialogue would for instance be useful regarding the Northwest/Southwest crisis, with full transparency regarding humanitarian needs and actual capacity to deliver in a principled manner.

In terms of advocacy, we encourage WFP to continue advocating for the integration of humanitarian concerns in its current activities supporting the Government. Furthermore, it is crucial that WFP as a major humanitarian actor fully respects and advocates for the respect of the humanitarian principles. In the complex environment of Cameroon it is essential that humanitarian actors are neutral and independent – and are perceived to be so. Otherwise, access to populations in need is at risk.

We support Recommendation 4 about strengthening human capacity to implement ongoing priorities and prepare for the next CSP. In this regard, we would welcome more information on how WFP intends to increase programming support for the country office and accelerate recruitment in priority areas. Given the operating environment, it is important to have an adequate level of qualified staff in place.

We welcome Recommendation 5 on improving emergency preparedness, programme effectiveness and efficiency. Appropriate corporate capacity to respond to L2 emergencies should be supported, drawing on the Programme Support and Administrative Budget so as to address this systemically. We also support Recommendation 5.3 regarding operational partnerships. The management of implementing partners has been identified as a corporate risk and should be addressed as a priority.

Last but not least, we appreciate the efforts made to set up functional complaints and feedback mechanisms, particularly the hotline that proved very useful during the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage further joint up efforts with other aid organizations to keep improving Accountability to Affected Populations.

Thank you.

Agenda Item 7a – 2

Country Strategic Plan

Democratic Republic of the Congo 2021 – 2024

Mister President

I am speaking on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.

We welcome the Country Strategic Plan (CSP) for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and appreciate the consultation process that has preceded it. We welcome that the overall strategy builds on the conclusions of the evaluation of the previous Interim Country Strategic Plan, which has also been presented to this session of the Executive Board.

We note with concern the increase in acute food insecurity, further aggravated by conflict, Ebola outbreak and the COVID-19 pandemic. As far as numbers are concerned, the DRC currently hosts the biggest food crisis, with up to 22 million people suffering from acute food insecurity, according to the latest reports.

Given the complex situation, we welcome the emphasis on life-saving activities and their prioritisation in case of funding shortfalls. We also support the emphasis on linking life-saving activities with expanding resilience and peace building activities. In this context, we appreciate increased partnerships with other UN agencies, in particular with FAO and UNICEF. We believe that such a strong joint up programmatic approach is the most efficient way to address issues such as food and nutrition insecurity and to implement the Humanitarian-Development Peace Nexus, rendering vulnerable populations more resilient to future shocks. In this respect, we would like to request more information on the coordination mechanisms in place with development actors and the division of labour with multilateral agencies such as UNICEF and UNFPA. At the same time, we call on WFP to strengthen its relationship with cooperating partners and national institutions.

We take note of the overall budget requirements, with a programme of work that seems more realistic than the ICSP. However, we would welcome more information on how COVID-19 has been factored in both in terms of budget and beneficiary figures.

We welcome the mainstreaming of gender and protection concerns. This is crucial in the DRC, and we would welcome some concrete examples of new measures taken in this respect. The same holds true for the mainstreaming of environmental considerations. In addition, the engagement for social cohesion aspects are frequently addressed in different forms: inclusion, equity, social cohesion, peace, gender and we invite WFP to remain context based and to use appropriate analyses and studies on that matter.

Undernutrition remains a major problem in the DRC. In this regard, we welcome partnership between WFP, UNICEF and other actors, which aims to address this issue in a more comprehensive manner.

We appreciate the information provided on monitoring and evaluation and risk management. However, we would appreciate clarification on the measures foreseen to mitigate the risks related to a reduction in the basket rations due to potential budget shortfalls. We would also appreciate more detailed information on the safeguarding measures in place regarding sexual exploitation and abuse and underline a “”zero tolerance” approach. Given the importance of Accountability to Affected Population, we would welcome more information on whether feedback mechanisms are planned jointly with other aid agencies. Furthermore, we would appreciate information on how WFP intends to strengthen their own capacities in such increasingly complex environment. We encourage WFP to build appropriate organisational capacity also through the use of the Programme Support and Administrative Budget.

Last but not least, we would like to underline the importance of WFP’s involvement in the food security cluster and reiterate our previous overall recommendation to use the PSA to strengthen WFP’s capacity for cluster lead. We also acknowledge the important role of the humanitarian air services provided to facilitate access to people in need.

Thank you.