Globally, 822 million people were chronically undernourished in 2018, an increase from 812 million in 2017. Conflict and insecurity have remained the main drivers of food insecurity. In 2018, more than 113 million people in 53 countries experienced acute hunger requiring urgent food, nutrition and livelihood assistance; two thirds of these people were in areas affected by conflict or insecurity. Climate-related and other natural disasters also push people into acute food insecurity. As the world’s leading humanitarian organization, with unparalleled operational presence in the field and ability to reach the people who are “furthest behind”, WFP has a unique and critical role in enabling and supporting the broader humanitarian system in saving lives while also addressing the root causes of hunger and crises.
With needs continuing to outpace resources, WFP has to prioritize the saving of lives, which limits its ability to contribute to achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals through the changing of lives. This results in missed opportunities, particularly in protracted crises, where humanitarian assistance meets short-term needs but does not help families to move towards self-reliance. However, the aspirations of the ongoing United Nations reform require WFP to leverage its operational presence and experience in order to contribute significantly to collective outcomes on the humanitarian, development and peace agendas by not only meeting current needs but also reducing and preventing future needs.
The WFP Management Plan (2020–2022) details the operational requirements for the strategic and programmatic shifts at the country and corporate levels that are set out in the WFP Strategic Plan (2017–2021) and defines requirements for addressing the growing challenges in increasingly complex, protracted and expensive humanitarian crises. In 2019, WFP has responded to 18 Level 2 and Level 3 corporate emergencies – the most it has ever faced at one time. The global trend in increasing humanitarian crises is reflected in increased operational requirements of USD 10.6 billion in 2020, 8 percent more than in 2019. In 2020, WFP projects will directly reach 87.6 million beneficiaries, an increase of 11 percent compared with the planning figure for 2019.
A forecasted funding gap of USD 3.1 billion (29 percent) in 2020 will, however, limit WFP’s ability to assist affected people, requiring it to undertake difficult prioritization exercises – in compliance with donors’ funding restrictions – in order to target the most vulnerable people. The funding gap will lead to disproportionate reductions of between 35 and 50 percent in programmes that focus on development gains, resulting in missed opportunities to reduce and prevent future humanitarian needs. It is therefore critical that WFP employ its resources effectively to address immediate humanitarian needs such as the consequences of conflict and climate change, while also emphasizing, whenever feasible, the urgent need for long-term solutions that foster resilient livelihoods and contribute to peace.
The management plan (2020–2022) sets out the core resource allocations in the programme support and administrative (PSA) budget and the non-recurring investments to be funded from the PSA equalization account. These proposals demonstrate WFP’s commitment to delivering effective leadership in emergencies and programme excellence that contribute to progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.