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World Food Program Essay

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Updated: Jul 3rd, 2019

Description of the UN World Food Program

The World Food Program (WFP) is a humanitarian agency, which was established in the early 1960s by the United Nations (UN) to help in the fight against hunger in different countries across the world. The WFP works with other agencies such as FAO and IFAD to pursue the vision of ensuring a hunger-free world.

With reference to its vision, the WFP responds to emergencies by supplying food and other basic materials to victims in times of war, conflicts, and natural disasters such as hunger. As a humanitarian organization, the agency addresses the issue of food coupled with playing a crucial role in saving victims and providing them with shelter (WFP, 2014a).

Currently, the agency is operational in approximately 70 countries in which over 90 million people benefit from its programs. However, apart from providing food assistance, the agency encourages the affected countries to implement capacities to address the challenges of victims as part of rebuilding life after a crisis. Nevertheless, the WFP largely relies on donations and funding from the UN to facilitate its humanitarian activities (WFP, 2014b).

Status of hunger across the world and prevention measures

Researchers affiliated to the WFP approximate the rate of malnutrition to be one person out of eight people across different countries. From the research, it is evident that malnutrition has a higher rate of prevalence than other diseases such as tuberculosis, AIDS, and malaria (Unnevehr, 2003).

However, cooperation of countries and application of appropriate policies can help in the eradication of the problem of hunger across the world. For the prevention and eradication of hunger, the WFP has implemented various policies through diverse programs to ensure that the poor and undernourished people have appropriate meals and diet for their survival (Gregory, Ingram & Brklacich, 2005).

Although the WFP works through various initiatives such as food for assets and purchases for progress focusing on women, the school meal plans entail a widespread initiative that is implemented in both developed countries and those with developing economies.

Currently, the WFP works either independently or with governments to establish programs for providing nutritional meals to children in schools. In some countries outside the United States, the WFP has a take-home program in which pupils are provided with foods to take home. The motive of the take-home initiative is to encourage parents to retain their children in school (WFP, 2014b).

Addressing risks to food and safety

Food safety and public health entail core issues to the policies of the WFP in addressing food security across the globe. The WFP works with the International Food Safety Authority Network (INFOSAN) to provide information in relation to managing food to prevent contamination.

The significance of maintaining safety of food is that the distribution of contaminated food contributes to widespread cases of fatalities among the recipients (WHO, 2014a). The interdependence between vertebrate animals and humans accounts for the transmission of diseases from animals to people.

In addition, the exposure to infected animals and products from infected animals is the core risky factor to the passage of diseases from animals to humans (Dufour, Bartram, Bos, & Gannon, 2012). However, the majority of these diseases emerge from the infected wildlife, whereas factors such as agricultural practices and evolution of ecology account for the spread of zoonotic diseases and infections (WHO, 2014b).

For the analysis of microbial risks in food, the WFP works together with the WHO and FAO to assess the levels and rate of microbial risks. After the assessment, the committee of experts established by WHO and FAO provides both qualitative and quantitative description of physical, biological, and chemical hazards present in food (WHO, 2014a).

Addressing food-borne diseases

A variety of food-related illnesses and diseases pose significant risks to people’s health across the world. The majority of the diseases connected to food are caused by ingesting products contaminated by microorganisms from chemicals (Unnevehr, 2003).

Although governments are fighting to prevent contamination of edible products, increased industrial practices and food trade in addition to the rise of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms impede the objective of maintaining health security to the members of the public (WHO, 2014b).

Water sanitation and hygiene

Safety of water and hygiene contribute to maintaining health security of the members of the public. However, different countries have disparate policies through which safety of water and hygiene is maintained. Apart from the domestic uses, water forms a significant parameter within which scientists develop measures to prevent and control water-borne illnesses (Kinzelman & Mcphail, 2012).

For countries with developing economies, the WHO with the help of health experts implements guides through which quality of water is determined. In maintaining safety of drinking water, sources of water and means of supplying are protected with sufficient barriers to prevent microbial contamination.

Furthermore, the use of appropriate processes of treatment and distribution further compounds safety of water for drinking (WHO, 2014b). Proper disinfection of water using approved chemicals such as chlorine eliminates pathogens from surface and underground water.

However, prior to disinfection with chemicals, residual disinfection through filtration helps to eliminate residues from water prior to joining the system of distribution (Kinzelman & Mcphail, 2012). However, both methods do not guarantee the safety of water for use by people.

Some water-related diseases include malaria, schistosomiasis, legionellosis, and dysentery among others. Part of these diseases arises from the consumption of contaminated water, whereas others are caused by vectors related to water (Dufour et al., 2012).

Emerging issues

Currently, scientists test for traditional fecal contaminants such as waste from both humans and animals in the evaluation of risks to food. Traditional fecal contaminants undermine safety of water and food, thus posing significant dangers to public health.

Furthermore, the issue of climate change has become a crucial concern in addressing the problems of food and water crisis (Gregory, Ingram & Brklacich, 2005). Furthermore, scientists hold that climate change facilitates indirect and direct transmission of water-borne illnesses. With the increment of rate of exchanging foodstuffs amongst countries, chances of spreading diseases across borders have increased (WHO, 2014a).

Conclusion

Food and water entail significant components of people’s basic needs. In most countries with developing economies, food and water are scarce resources, thus contributing to high levels of hunger. For this reason, the UN incorporated a food program to help in the fight against hunger in various countries across the world.

The WFP, which was created by the UN, implements various policies to address issue of food security across the world. This paper has addressed policies and issues of the WFP in relation to food security and water safety systems across the world in both developed and developing countries.

References

Dufour, A., Bartram, J., Bos, R., & Gannon, V. (2012). Animal Waste, Water Quality and Human Health. London, UK: IWA Publishing.

Gregory, P., Ingram, J., & Brklacich, M. (2005). Climate change and food security. Philosophical Transaction of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 360 (1463), 2139-48.

Kinzelman, J., & Mcphail, C. (2012). Exposure Interventions: Animal Waste, Water Quality and Human Health. London, UK: IWA Publishing.

Unnevehr, L. (2003). Food safety in Food Security and Food Trade. Washington, DC: International Food Policy Research Institute.

. (2014a). About-Fighting Hunger Worldwide. Web.

WFP. (2014b). . Web.

WHO. (2014a). . Web.

WHO. (2014b). . Web.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "World Food Program." July 3, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/world-food-program/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'World Food Program'. 3 July.

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