2011-10-14 | News
Food Assistance Builds Bridge Between Hunger and Hope as Millions Mark World Food Day

He World Food Programme (WFP) today marks World Food Day by highlighting the vital role that food assistance plays during humanitarian crises, supporting recovery in the immediate aftermath of disasters, and building the resilience that is necessary to ensure food security.

“Across the world, we are the bridge between hunger and hope for millions of people,” said WFP Executive Director, Josette Sheeran. “WFP is providing life-saving food assistance in the midst of crises like the drought in the Horn of Africa.  In countries like Libya, we are supporting communities that are striving to recover from crisis, and in places like Haiti, we continue to work with governments and civil society to build resilience so that the vulnerable are better able to cope when the next disaster strikes.”

Relief, recovery and resilience are the three defining pillars of WFP’s work in more than 70 countries around the world, where we bring the most effective and appropriate food assistance to close to 100 million people every year.

“Funded by a donation from the Russian Federation, WFP and the Armenian Ministry of Education and Science are implementing a school meals project for 50,000 primary school children in the seven regions most affected by the rise in fuel and food prices. This includes Gegharkunik, Tavush, Lori, Shirak, Aragatsotn, Armavir and Kotaik,” said WFP Head of Office Maria Lukyanova.  “ The school meals programme ensures that children of these rural, and vulnerable areas have a strong chance in succeeding in school and life.

WFP in Armenia is working closely with the Russian Federal Agency for the Common Wealth of Independent States (Rossotrudnichestvo;), the Social and Industrial Feeding Institute and Open Society Foundations-Armenia.  “This joint effort aims to help the government establish a sustainable and affordable national school feeding scheme that is embedded in national priorities and budgets” said Head of Rossotrudnichestvo Office, Viktor Krivopuskov.

Thanks to a contribution from the Open Society Foundations, WFP is expanding this year to schools in Armavir, Aragastotn and Kotaik provinces and will provide a daily snack of nutritious fruit bars to children. This pilot project demonstrates a new approach to local purchase by offering small and medium-scale farmers an opportunity to engage more actively in agricultural production.
Face to the economic crises of 2009,  in addition to supporting primary school children with a nutritious snack  with the grant from OSF Armenia, WFPwill assist small and medium holder local producers. "This is an effective tool to counteract the negative impact of the economic and financial crisis, while simultaneously supporting school children and local food producers", said Deputy Director of Open Society Foundations- Armenia,  David Amiryan.

This year’s theme for World Food Day, “Food Prices – from Crisis to Stability”, underlines the role that food assistance can play in protecting vulnerable communities that are affected by food price volatility.

WFP is deploying an increasingly sophisticated array of innovative tools to address the needs of people who are struggling to access the nutrition they need for their families on a daily basis – including those  who have borne the brunt of the turbulence on global food markets.
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WFP is the world\'s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Each year, on average, WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries.

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