UN food agency seeks urgent private sector aid in fighting growing global

Despite reaching a record 110 million hungry people with food aid last year, WFP noted that more than 800 million people in the developing world suffer from hunger. According to a recent report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the number of hungry people in developing countries increased by 18 million in the second half of the 1990s, indicating that hunger is getting worse, not better. Attending this year’s Forum in Davos, Switzerland – the first appearance from the agency there – WFP’s Executive Director James T. Morris said the agency’s corporate partnership with TPG, the global mail, express and logistics giant, was a model of its search for similar help from the private sector. “One of the most valuable benefits of our partnership with TPG is the involvement of company employees in the fight against hunger,” Mr. Morris said of the firm, which has boosted WFP’s transport, warehousing and supply chain capabilities and provided critical funds to feed more people worldwide. “From China to Spain and France to Australia, TPG staff are actively raising money for WFP’s work, and highlighting the plight of the hungry,” Mr. Morris added. “TPG has told us that it has been a tremendous boost to employee morale.” TPG has provided life-saving assistance with airlifts to Chad, Liberia and, most recently, to the victims of last month’s earthquake in Bam, Iran. TPG has also helped WFP identify new corporate partners such as The Boston Consulting Group. With BCG’s free assistance, the agency has developed a fund-raising strategy aimed at the corporate world. WFP’s effort to galvanize new partners into action and broaden its alliances with corporate sponsors is part of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s long-standing effort to build a stronger relationship between the UN and the business community.

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