Yesterday was World Food Day, which commemorates the official founding of the United Nations World Food Programme—the world’s largest humanitarian organization concerning hunger and food security—and highlights the issues and solutions to this ancient scourge of humanity.
The WFP is among the U.N.’s most effective agencies—hence the U.S. being the largest and most enthusiastic donors—providing food assistance to 80 million people in 76 countries annually. Most recently, the WFP has been pivotal at averting famine in conflict zones such as Syria, South Sudan, and Yemen.
In addition to its reactive work, the WFP has also led the way in developing permanent and systemic solutions to hunger and undernourishment, such as developing emergency food stocks in countries; safeguarding against the impact of climate change on crop yields; and making sure smallholder farmers get market access.
Like any institution of its size, much less one associated with the U.N., the WFP has its flaws and criticisms. But given the tens of millions of lives that depend on its thankless and tenacious work, I think it is a worthy organization that has done a lot good.