Rome - In 2019, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) received $ 419 million in flexible funding, which represents 5% of total WFP contributions. A percentage well below the record level of 19% reached in 2002.
With flexible - or unrestricted - funding, WFP can determine where and how the money is used. This type of funding gives WFP the flexibility to respond quickly to unprecedented needs and multiple large-scale food emergencies around the world. It also enables WFP to fund humanitarian action in contexts of neglected crises and to provide vital food aid to those who need it most.
Flexible financing allows us to be more efficient and more profitable. We can respond faster, reduce costs and ensure maximum impact for every dollar received. In other words, this form of funding means that we can save and change more lives each year, says WFP Executive Director David Beasley.
WFP's flexible funding levels are down and represented only 5% of the total resources provided to the agency in 2019. This decrease goes against the aspirations of the agreement known as the Grand Bargain, which was concluded at the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016. The main government donors have pledged to gradually increase the flexibility of their funding in order to reach an overall target of 30% of humanitarian funding by 2020.
Flexible funders are real champions, they encourage effective cooperation and ambitious partnerships to make a permanent difference in the lives of the people we help. I encourage all WFP donors to increase the proportion of flexible funding they provide as part of their generous support, said WFP Executive Director Beasley.
In 2019, the main donors using flexible funding were Sweden, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Australia, Canada and Ireland, while Switzerland, Belgium and Germany were the main donors to the WFP Immediate Response Account. The latter is WFP's funding mechanism for responding quickly to emergencies and thus saving lives.
In Zimbabwe, as 7.7 million people face the worst food crisis the country has experienced in ten years, flexible funds help WFP save lives. In Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh, where a million Rohingya refugees have found refuge, flexible funding has enabled WFP to continue its vital assistance in the camps through the distribution of food and the installation of electronic vouchers. These allow people who benefit from them to respond independently to their basic needs. Finally, in Colombia, flexible funds make it possible to provide food aid with the aim of reducing the vulnerability of Venezuelan migrants.
Source: World Food Program