We congratulate Ambassador Ertharin Cousin on her appointment this week as the next Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP). We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with WFP and the other the UN food agencies based in Rome. The WFP has a long and illustrious history of responding to the world's most pressing food and hunger crises, and under the energetic leadership of Ambassador Cousin, we are confident that it will continue its remarkable work as a leader of global efforts to eradicate hunger.
As the Ambassador to the UN food agencies in Rome, Ambassador Cousin has already worked closely with WFP, FAO, IFAD and other Rome-based international organizations and diplomatic missions to ensure an effective response to food needs during crises. She also brings experience from a nongovernmental hunger organization and from the private sector, along with the vision and passion needed to lead the world in advancing food security. Secretary Clinton emphasized that Ambassador Cousin “has been central to designing and implementing our food security policies...[and she] will continue to be a powerful voice in the fight against hunger.”
Over the past half-century, the United States has been WFP's largest donor, supporting its lifesaving work in responding to emergencies. WFP also has an important role to play in supporting lasting food security. Through Feed the Future (FTF), the U.S. government supports country-driven approaches to address the root causes of hunger and poverty and forge long-term solutions to chronic food insecurity and undernutrition. We share WFP's vision of reducing the need for assistance by strengthening people's resilience to economic, natural, and other shocks and increasing their economic opportunities.
In this spirit, we have partnered with WFP through programs such as Purchase for Progress (P4P), an innovative pilot program that connects smallholder farmers to WFP's supply chain. WFP helps farmers produce at a higher quantity and quality, and provides a fair price for their products. Over time, as farmers increase their skills, capacity, and income, they can expand their sales to the private sector, moving from subsistence to self-reliant growth.
Recently, USAID announced a creative new partnership with WFP and PepsiCo to help chickpea farmers in Ethiopia improve the quality and quantity of their production. The EthioPEA project also aims to connect the farmers to domestic and international markets and to the production of a chickpea-based, nutrient-rich supplemental food that WFP will distribute to vulnerable populations.
We look forward to working closely with Ambassador Cousin to continue this deep cooperation with WFP -- to respond to today's emergencies and build sustainable solutions to global hunger and undernutrition.