Work with The World Food Programme (WFP)

WFP (created in 1961 and operational in 1963) is the food assistance programme of the United Nations. Its mission is to meet the emergency needs of victims of natural and man-made disasters, displaced people, and more generally the world's hungry poor. The agency also provides the logistics support necessary to deliver food aid to the right people at the right time and at the right place.

Since it was founded, WFP has fed more than 1.4 billion people, and invested more than USD 3 billion in emergency relief and rehabilitation. On average, WFP aims to reach more than 80 million people with food assistance in more than 80 countries.

WFP relies entirely on voluntary contributions, made either as cash, food or basic items necessary to grow, store and cook food. Governments are the principal source of funds, but businesses and the private sector increasingly provide their own contributions. WFP Projected Income for 2016 is USD 4.9 billion.

The EU as a whole (i.e. the EU countries and the Commission) is one of the world's main humanitarian aid donors; the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO) is the service of the European Commission responsible for this sensible task and is directly concerned by WFP activities. ECHO’s mandate is to provide emergency assistance and relief to the victims of natural disasters or armed conflict outside the EU. The aid is intended to go directly to those in distress, irrespective of race, religion, or political convictions.

EU-WFP Cooperation

The EU is one of the largest donors to WFP with a total contribution of €250 million in 2015.

ECHO is among WFP’s top donors. Every year, ECHO supports WFP operations in more than 30 countries including responses such as in Haiti, Pakistan and the Horn of Africa. ECHO’s support also funds innovative new projects such as cash-and-voucher programmes as well as enhancements to WFP’s logistic capacity.

In order to consolidate their relations, the EU and WFP signed on 2 September 2005 a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), by which they confirmed their intention to establish a Strategic Partnership in order to fight world hunger. In order to maintain a close relationship with WFP, an annual Strategic Dialogue takes place every year. Furthermore, regular dialogue between the EU and WFP is ensured by the EU Delegation in Rome and the WFP Office in Brussels, to enhance EU/WFP relations and improve the EU's total contributions.

EU Status in WFP

Legally speaking, the European Union is not a member of WFP, but has a privileged status on its Executive Board and sits at the main table as a special observer. This unique status offers the advantage to the EU of sitting permanently at the Executive Board and is a reflection of the importance of the EU’s position as one of the major donors.