Sundays 8pm to 11pm on Radio 2
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When an emergency strikes and people need food, the World Food Program jumps into action. Earthquake... flood... famine... war... the United Nations agency will get food to those who need it the most. And when the emergency is over, it stays on to fill the gaps.
The WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency feeding people - about 90 million each year. Almost sixty-five per cent of the people who receive their food aid are children. But food distribution is not an easy thing. There's instability, violence, food theft, and sometimes direct attacks: the WFP and its workers can become targets in local conflicts. Last year, a suicide bomber in Pakistan's north attacked a food distribution site, killing 47 people.
The agency is now back in Somalia working with Canada's CIDA. That crisis has been described as the worst in a generation and unparalleled. Josette Sheeran is the Executive Director of the World Food Program, and she's described Somalia as the agency's "most dangerous and complex operation". We'll talk to Josette about that and about reports that food isn't getting where it needs to go.