Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

The World Food Programme (WFP)

1. How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the priorities of your organization?

Addressing the “development emergency” low and middle-income countries are facing due to the scale and scope of the global COVID-19 pandemic requires a comprehensive and integrated response which upholds humanitarian and human rights standards. The World Food Programme (WFP) is uniquely positioned to support governments, local organizations and other partners to quickly adapt, design and deliver their own interventions. Thanks to its presence and capacity in over 80 countries, WFP can also rapidly scale-up and directly deliver complementary programmes where required. In defining the programmatic framework to address the medium-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, WFP identified three pillars of intervention that are central to effective, efficient and equitable responses and where WFP has demonstrated value as a partner to governments and others. These are: support for national social protection systems; basic service delivery – in particular school-based programmes and nutrition; and food systems. WFP’s new Strategic Plan (2022-2026) directs its efforts to combat global hunger and support governments achieve the SDGs by 2030. This new plan was designed to account for the challenges presented by the global pandemic, which has undermined progress on the achievement of zero hunger. Despite many challenges, certain trends have the potential to multiply the benefits of WFP’s work, leading to improved livelihoods, resilience and stability. The devastating COVID-19 pandemic is also an opportunity to build back better. Among others, this presents an opportunity to enhance the delivery of WFP’s programmes while transforming livelihoods through financial inclusion. In Africa, a demographic dividend is achievable. Migration flows could bolster origin countries’ economies through skills, technology transfers and remittances, which in 2020 surpassed overseas development assistance and foreign direct investment combined. A full accounting of WFP’s priorities to achieve the SDGs in light of the COVID-19 pandemic is outlined within the Strategic Plan here:…

2. In 2020/2021, how has your organization endeavored to support Member States to build back better from COVID-19 while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda? Please select up to three high-impact initiatives to highlight, especially those that address interlinkages among the SDGs. How has your organization cooperated with other UN system organizations in those efforts to achieve coherence and synergies?  

Relevant SDGs  SDGs 2, 17
Description WFP adapted and scaled up its operations in three primary ways. First, it sustained ongoing operations and assistance for existing beneficiaries by rapidly deploying staff to fill critical gaps in the field, pre-positioning food stocks and increasing local purchases. Second, assistance was scaled up to reach new beneficiaries on the brink of food insecurity owing to the pandemic, including by expanding direct assistance into urban areas, which accounted for 90 percent of COVID-19 cases. Near real-time remote monitoring methods were used to assess needs. Third, governments and humanitarian partners were supported and enabled in responding effectively to COVID-19 through the provision of technical assistance and logistics support. In particular, WFP expanded support for national social protection systems.


Initiative  Hungermap
Relevant SDGs  SDGs 2, 17
Description To complement face-to-face data collection for needs assessment and monitoring purposes, the use of mobile technology and remote monitoring tools was quickly expanded after the onset of COVID-19. WFP increased the collection of near-real-time food security data from 15 countries in 2019 to 38 in 2020. Remote, near-real-time food security monitoring systems tracked the impacts of the outbreak on household food security, livelihoods, coping strategies, markets and other metrics, with results visualized in near-real-time on WFP’s HungerMap LIVE. In addition, web surveys were expanded to more than 45 countries, helping country offices to collect data rapidly and cost-effectively and to capture a variety of often hidden population groups, including young women and men, and mobile and displaced people. Many country offices also developed dashboards to improve data visualization for supporting decision making, enabling the provision of timely life-saving assistance and advocacy on operational needs.


3. Has your organization published or is it planning to publish any analytical work or guidance note or toolkits to guide and support recovery efforts from COVID-19 while advancing SDG implementation at national, regional and global levels? Please select up to three high-impact resources to highlight, especially those that address interlinkages among the SDGs. 

Resource  The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World
Publishing entity/entities FAO, IFAD, WFP, UNICEF, WHO
Relevant SDGs SDGs 2
Target audience The report targets a wide audience, including policy-makers, international organizations, academic institutions and the general public.
Description The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World is an annual flagship report jointly prepared by FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO to inform on progress towards ending hunger, achieving food security and improving nutrition and to provide in depth analysis on key challenges for achieving this goal in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Link to access…
Language English


Resource  Climate Change in Southern Africa – A position paper
Publishing entity/entities WFP
Relevant SDGs SDGs 2
Description A position paper for WFP Regional Bureau in southern Africa for climate action in the region. Climate extremes are a major impediment to resilience of food systems in Southern Africa, where livelihoods and economies are highly sensitive to weather fluctuations. While the region boasts an incredible diversity of ecosystems, natural resources, economic activities and cultures, it is also characterized by rapid population growth, urbanization of coastal areas, encroachment into ecologically marginal areas and poverty. The primary source of income for the region’s rural population remains agriculture, much of it rainfed and allocated to cereal production. The region’s uneven distribution of resources and changing climate dynamics pose significant challenges as well as considerable opportunities for cooperation across the countries of Southern Africa. This position paper builds a case for climate action in Southern Africa by WFP and its partners with key insights from regional leaders which were recorded during a regional climate symposium. The position paper is backed up by scientific data and forecast by CIAT.
Link to access…



Resource  State of School Feeding Worldwide 2020
Publishing entity/entities WFP
Relevant SDGs SDGs 2
Description This publication provides an analysis of the state of school feeding in 2020, describes the impact of COVID-19 on school feeding around the world and presents what can be done to restore this global safety net.
Link to access
Language English

4. How has your organization engaged with stakeholder groups to support SDG implementation and COVID-19 recovery at national, regional and global levels? Please provide main highlights, including any lessons learned. If your organization has established multi-stakeholder partnerships in this regard, please describe them (objectives, partners involved, relevant SDGs, Member States benefiting from the partnership) and provide links to relevant websites, if applicable.

Food Systems Summit: The Synthesis Reports for Global, Independent, and Member State Summit Dialogues are now available on the Food Systems Summit Dialogues Gateway. These reports analyse the outcomes provided in the Official Feedback Forms of over 850 Dialogues in which over 100,000 people from around the world participated.…


5. In the 2019 SDG Summit declaration (GA Resolution 74/4), Member States outlined ten priority areas for accelerated action in SDG implementation. Please highlight any major integrated and innovative policies or initiatives that your organization may have adopted in these ten priority areas:


5.1 leaving no one behind

Please see WFP’s Annual Performance Report for 2020, which highlights its relevant actions.

Available here:…


6. In the lead up to the 2023 HLPF to be held under the auspices of the General Assembly (or 2023 SDG Summit), please provide your organization’s recommendations on how to overcome challenges to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of the SDGs, taking into account the thematic reviews and voluntary national reviews conducted to date.

A green, sustainable and fair COVID-19 recovery is critical to setting the world on the pathway towards a Decade of Action, transformation and restoration to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, one that will also create jobs, empower women, reduce inequalities and improve health and food security.

Solutions that are cost-efficient, practical and realistic do exist and many of them can help resolve more than one problem. For instance, by cutting emissions, we can restore productive land and create green jobs. By rethinking our food systems, we can protect nature, tackle climate challenges and address people’s health, well-being, nutrition and food security.

Finance is needed to build a green and sustainable world. This is the year to ensure that trillions spent on recovery and economic stimulus measures will be aligned with the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement, and transforming food systems. It will take resources to invest in sustainable solutions, and developed countries need to provide assistance to developing countries to ensure a global recovery, progress and prosperity. It is in everyone’s interest to make sure no one is left behind.

COVID-19 has exposed the fragility and flaws in our global systems. 811 million people go to bed hungry each night. Economic downturns in 2020, including those resulting from COVID-19 containment measures, delivered the hardest blow in decades to world hunger and the world has a historic opportunity to address and respond to those weaknesses in order to ‘recover better’ through multilateral action.

WFP has a long history of working with governments on interventions that have contributed to national recovery from shocks caused by climate, conflict and mass migration. Our presence in over 80 countries gives us a unique position to help governments suffering from the impact of the pandemic through interventions such as social protection and safety net programmes; school-based health and nutrition services; innovative and digital technology solutions, cash-based transfers; and support to food systems.


ECESA Plus Member
Year of submission: 2021