The World Food Program reached 101.8 million people left hungry by storms, droughts, conflict, financial crises, displacement and other shocks in 2009. Approximately 84 million of these people were children and women, according to the latest annual report released by the agency.
This figure was slightly lower than the total 102.1 million hungry and poor people reached by the agency in 2008.
Funding received by WFP in 2009 totaled USD4.2 billion, significantly higher than its USD3.7 billion target. This amount, however, is lower than the more than USD5 billion record contributions the agency received in 2008. The economic downturn of the past year is the primary reason behind the decline, according to the report.
In addition to funding-related problems, the WFP also faced security concerns because of what the report calls “shrinking humanitarian safe space.” The report outlines more than 600 attacks on WFP workers and installations in 2009, including the October bombing of the agency’s office in Islamabad, Pakistan, where at five staff were killed.
In its report, WFP highlights a new initiative focusing on chronic malnutrition. Under the new initiative, the agency began designing individual programs for special nutritional needs of separate groups of people, such as children and mothers.