The World Food Programme is proud to work with more than 1,000 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) around the globe, from small grassroots groups to large international aid agencies.
Without this collaboration, our efforts to bring much-needed assistance to more than 80 million people in 80 countries would be jeopardized. Without the vocal support of these organizations, our efforts to put Zero Hunger at the top of the international agenda would be far less successful.
NGOs are at our side in many programme settings, from food distribution in emergencies to longer-term initiatives such as schools meals and asset creation. In fact, three-quarters of our food and cash-based transfer operations are delivered together with NGOs. In partnership, we combine complementary strengths and expertise with the common goal of achieving Zero Hunger.
NGO partners enable us to deliver quickly and effectively and access areas we would be unable to reach alone. They are often in the unique position of having a long-term presence in, and a deep contextual understanding of, the communities we work with. Their daily contact with communities before, during and after emergencies provides us with an invaluable link to the people we serve. They allow us to carry out increasingly innovative and multi-dimensional programmes.
In turn, with its vast field presence, the World Food Programme (WFP) allows NGOs to expand their own reach. They can strengthen their technical knowledge and expertise by drawing on our decades-long experience in logistics, emergency preparedness, cash and voucher distribution, vulnerability mapping and nutrition programming. WFP can also provide the funding needed to scale up programmes, which NGOs may be unable to secure alone.
Following external consultation and internal review, WFP has embarked on a process of institutional reform that identifies partnerships as one of its key strengths. Our Strategic Plan (2014-2017) emphasizes that partnerships drive all WFP programmes, policies and activities. The Corporate Partnership Strategy, adopted in 2014, highlights the evolution of WFP’s culture from “we deliver” to “we deliver better together”.
Supporting local and national first responders
Under the Grand Bargain – a package of reforms to humanitarian funding launched at the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016 – WFP agreed to provide more support and funds to first responders, including NGOs.
The drive towards a more localized response to humanitarian needs is already reflected in WFP’s capacity strengthening activities with local and national NGOs: 850 of WFP’s 1,000 NGO partners are country-specific. Enhancing their capability ensures our interventions have a long-lasting impact, by empowering communities and countries to address their own food challenges.
Partnerships in action
SARC, Aga Khan Foundation, and Action Against Hunger – Syria
Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis in 2011, WFP has provided life-saving food assistance to families in need. This was only possible thanks to the support of 22 national NGOs operating inside Syria, including the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and two international NGOs – the Aga Khan Foundation and Action Against Hunger. These partners have been fundamental to WFP’s work, facilitating the handling and distribution of food assistance, especially in highly insecure areas, and using their contact with local actors to allow us to reach vulnerable people.
World Vision – Myanmar
WFP and World Vision have worked together in Myanmar for over a decade, providing food and cash-based assistance. World Vision’s widespread geographic presence in the country has allowed WFP to respond quickly to emergencies such as cyclones.
WFP funding has allowed World Vision to carry out food distribution for internally displaced persons, asset creation for crisis-affected communities, school meals in remote food-insecure communities, and food and nutrition assistance for people at risk of malnutrition.
Islamic Relief – Kenya
In Kenya, WFP and Islamic Relief have joined efforts to combat malnutrition. In North Eastern Province, Islamic Relief supports the Department of Health to manage cases of acute malnutrition, while WFP provides specialized nutritious foods.
WFP and Islamic Relief also work together to supply families with micronutrient powders (or ‘sprinkles’) of essential vitamins and minerals, and to support locally recruited community health volunteers who promote infant and child nutrition.
Catholic Development Commission – Malawi
The Catholic Development Commission (CADECOM), a local relief and development NGO, has collaborated with WFP since 2004. Together we provide support to 175,000 El Niño-affected people in southern Malawi through food and cash transfers.
CADECOM also works with WFP to implement food security projects and link emergency response projects to medium- and long-term resilience-building activities, such as natural resources management and micro-financing.
Caritas Bolivia – Bolivia
In Bolivia, El Niño has hit hard, and its longer-term impact on water supplies, crops, yields and spread of disease is likely to be felt for months and possibly years to come. Caritas Bolivia and WFP are working together to rehabilitate agricultural land and create assets such as community vegetable gardens in order to reduce disaster risk and strengthen livelihoods.
Christian Child Fund – Ghana
WFP, the Christian Children’s Fund of Canada, and its local partner, the Presbyterian Farmers Training and Child Development Programme, are working together on the Safe Water for Improved Livelihoods project in Ghana’s East Gonja district. Through the rehabilitation of dams in three communities, the project is improving access to water for drinking, cooking, bathing and washing for 3,400 children and adults.
Annual Partnership Consultations
Held since 1995, WFP’s Annual Partnership Consultations (APCs) have become an important date on the development calendar, providing a unique opportunity for WFP and current and potential partners from around the globe to come together and engage in strategic dialogue. Every two years, the APC is hosted by WFP’s Executive Director and facilitates management-level dialogue, when WFP and partners explore new ways of working together as we move forward in an ever-changing world.
The 2017 event was an introductory opportunity for Executive Director David Beasley to host NGO partners in Rome. Only CEOs or their deputies were in attendance, to ensure high-level policy conversations and a real opportunity for senior NGO leaders to understand the Executive Director’s strategic direction for WFP. Key discussions included the UN reform agenda; famine and early action; the triple nexus of humanitarian action, development and peace; and the impact of the digital revolution on humanitarian action. Read summary report
WFP’s 2016 APC was about understanding the impact of recent key milestones such as SDG Summit, the World Humanitarian Summit and Grand Bargain on NGO partnerships. With more than 60 organizations in attendance, including the presence of 30 CEOs, the APC welcomed new partners, including members of local and national civil society, and faith-inspired groups. UN agencies FAO, UNICEF, UNHCR and OCHA also joined the meetings. Read summary report
On 25 November, WFP welcomed a group of international and national NGO partners for the 2015 APC. The purpose of this edition was to seek feedback from partners on WFP's current NGO engagement strategy. Key outcomes included feedback on engagement plan, capacity building, and joint advocacy. Read summary report
In 2014 WFP welcomed nearly 60 of its NGO and civil society partners to engage in dialogue on topics reflecting the global humanitarian and development debate. Themes explored were lessons learned from WFP-NGO partnerships in Level 3 emergencies (the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises), the future of humanitarian action, and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. Read summary report
The NGO unit in the Partnerships, Advocacy and Coordination (PGC) division is based in WFP’s headquarters in Rome. It functions both as a focal point for NGO partners in their interactions with WFP and as a resource center for WFP regional bureaus and country offices seeking guidance and good practice on NGO partnerships.
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