The World Food Programme (WFP) is the food assistance branch of the United Nations, and the world's largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger worldwide. It was first established in 1961 after the 1960 Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Conference, when George McGovern, director of the US Food for Peace Programmes, proposed establishing a multilateral food aid programme. WFP was formally established in 1963 by the FAO and the United Nations General Assembly on a three-year experimental basis. In 1965, the programme was extended to a continuing basis.
WFP provides food, on average, to 90 million people per year, 58 million of whom are children. From its headquarters in Rome and more than 80 country offices around the world, WFP works to help people who are unable to produce or obtain enough food for themselves and their families. It is a member of the United Nations Development Group and part of its Executive Committee. The core strategies behind WFP activities, according to its mission statement, are to provide food aid to:
- save lives in refugee and other emergency situations,
- improve the nutrition and quality of life of the most vulnerable people at critical times in their lives,
- and help build assets and promote the self-reliance of poor people and communities, particularly through labour-intensive works programmes.
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