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United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)

Context:

Recently, India signed an agreement with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) for the distribution of 50,000 MT of wheat that it has committed to sending to Afghanistan as part of a humanitarian assistance.

Relevance:

GS II- Important International Institutions

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. About United Nations World Food Programme
  2. Major Concern for the distribution of wheat

About United Nations World Food Programme

  • The World Food Programme (WFP) is the leading humanitarian organization saving lives and changing lives, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. 
  • As the international community has committed to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition by 2030, one in nine people worldwide still do not have enough to eat. Food and food-related assistance lie at the heart of the struggle to break the cycle of hunger and poverty.
  • It was founded in 1961 by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) with its headquarters in Rome, Italy.
  • It is also a member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG), a coalition of UN agencies and organisations aimed at fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 
  • WFP was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2020
    • For its efforts to combat hunger,
    • For its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas
    • For acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict,
  • In 2020, WFP assisted 115.5 million people – the largest number since 2012 –  in 84 countries. 
  • On any given day, WFP has 5,600 trucks, 30 ships and nearly 100 planes on the move, delivering food and other assistance to those in most need.
  • WFP’s efforts focus on emergency assistance, relief and rehabilitation, development aid and special operations
  • Two-thirds of  work is in conflict-affected countries where people are three times more likely to be undernourished than those living in countries without conflict. 

Major Concern for the distribution of wheat

  • The route via Pakistan, which has been closed for all exports from India since 2019, and opened only as an exception, is likely to require several weeks for the transport of the current consignment, as infrastructure and labour required to load and reload the wheat has to be organised.
  • Pakistan had shut down all trade with India to protest the government’s changes in Jammu and Kashmir and Article 370 in August 2019.
  • Subsequently, the Pakistan government had allowed Afghan exports to India to pass through the Wagah border, making an exception also for medicines from India during the pandemic.
  • India has also flown several consignments of medicines and medical equipment to hospitals in Afghanistan on board flights.

-Source: The Hindu

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