Monday, March 8, 2010

Send a Message to the WFP: the UN's World Food Programme, and please read my concerns about them, today, on International Women's Day

A woman called Susanne came to visit and left this message, for today and every day:

Alot of people don't realise that the majority of people hungry around the world are women... and yet these women produce 60-80% of the food! The answer to hunger, I really believe lies with women. You can send a message of solidarity to women across the world at

Julian here. I'll add some material to Susanne's note, and thanks Susanne!!! What follows that is in bold and in brackets is my own commentary, reflecting my own concerns about initiatives such as this one.

[I want to be especially clear, that were I starving, I wouldn't give fuck who arranged for food to get to me. And we are living in a time of great crisis, where starvation is rampant. But it is also manufactured by the West, by the WTO, by the IMF, and by corporate capitalism, more than it is created by things like "natural disasters" and "brown people having too many babies". And any program that makes you think THOSE are the problems--that the oppressed created this problem of starvation and that it isn't the fault of greedy corporations and white male supremacist governments, well, to me, you're being fooled.

I've looked over how the WFP's material is presented and find it to be white supremacist/racist. No better indicator of that than these image, of the good white woman helping feed the poor Black girl. Or of the "Good USA" helping "the World". Ugh. To me these images and messages are all pro-genocidal, racist propaganda, with the presumption of "doing good throughout the world":]

Executive Director

Executive Director
wfpWFP's Executive Director is responsible for the administration of WFP as well as the implementation of its programmes, projects and other activities.

[It was reported that a Rwandan girl "called" Lily, gave a red cup to this white woman called Josette. And this red cup has become a symbol of raising funds to fill one cup for every hungry child, or something to that effect. Well, the image above looks to me like a white woman helping a Black child, not a Black child giving something to a white woman with a message: go do some responsible work--and give me back my cup!]

Josette Sheeran became the eleventh Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme in April 2007.

Before joining WFP, Ms. Sheeran served as Under Secretary for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs at the United States Department of State. There she was responsible for economic issues including development, trade, agriculture, finance, energy, telecommunications and transportation, with much of her focus on economic diplomacy to help developing nations advance towards economic self-sufficiency and prosperity.
Josette Sheeran's full biography

[To me, this message is xenophobic and racist as HELL.

See *here*:]

More than 1 billion going hungry, U.N. says

  • Story Highlights
  • World Food Programme: One in six of world's population is now going hungry
  • Nearly all the world's undernourished live in developing countries
  • Number of hungry spiked as the global economic crisis took hold, report says
  • Calls for greater investment in agriculture to tackle long and short-term hunger
(CNN) -- The global economic crisis has caused a spike in world hunger that has left more than a billion undernourished, United Nations agencies said in a new report.

The report says the stabilization of financial markets has meant less investment in agriculture, food distribution.
The report says the stabilization of financial markets has meant less investment in agriculture, food distribution.

[This, to me, is a dangerously flawed understanding of "the problem" of world hunger. Self-sovereignty and self-sufficiency is the answer: not the White Rich pretending we can help those poor, poor people of color. If we can get aid and food where needed, fine. Anyone who is starving or who doesn't have safe water to drink needs it, ASAP. But that's a short term policy of assistance, not a long term policy of ending unsustainable, genocidal Western civilisation's deadly despicable pretense of being honorable and good.]

"It is unacceptable in the 21st century that almost one in six of the world's population is now going hungry," said Josette Sheeran, executive director of the World Food Programme.

"At a time when there are more hungry people in the world than ever before, there is less food aid than we have seen in living memory."

The report by the WFP and the Food and Agriculture Organization was released Wednesday, ahead of World Food Day on Friday.

Nearly all the world's undernourished live in developing countries, according to the report.

An estimated 642 million people are suffering from chronic hunger in Asia and the Pacific. An additional 265 million live in sub-Saharan Africa while 95 million come from Latin America, the Caribbean, the Near East and North Africa. The final 15 million live in developed nations. Should developed economies be doing more to eradicate hunger, poverty?
The number of hungry spiked as the global economic crisis took hold and governments pumped resources into stabilizing financial markets. The move meant smaller investments in agriculture and food distribution.
"World leaders have reacted forcefully to the financial and economic crisis, and succeeded in mobilizing billions of dollars in a short time period. The same strong action is needed now to combat hunger and poverty," said Jacques Diouf, director-general of the FAO.

"The rising number of hungry people is intolerable."

The report calls for greater investment in agriculture to tackle long and short-term hunger by making farmers productive and more resilient to crises.

"We know what is needed to meet urgent hunger needs -- we just need the resources and the international commitment to do the job," Sheeran said.

[As can be seen in the other post published today on this blog acknowledging International Women's Day, it is always, ALWAYS, women of color working on behalf of themselves. Whites have never been the saviors of people of color. EVER. So let's keep that in mind, and please support, especially, organisations and groups organised by, for, and with Indigenous women, Black women, Brown women, Asian women, and the women who ARE the world's majority. The charity of well-meaning whites will not remedy a situation caused by racist misogyny and Western xenophobia, and by blaming the problem of over-population among peoples of color, as the WFP does. Control-maintaining charitable programmes and blaming the oppressed while leaving out how the oppressor--white men--manufacture and profit from the business of starvation globally is not a solution to genocide and gynocide, in the view of this blog.]

Send a Message of Solidarity

When food is scarce, women and children suffer the most.
Empowering women can break the cycle of hunger and poverty. WFP distributes food through women as it's the best way to ensure that entire families will eat.

In honor of International Women's Day, March 8, you can send a message of solidarity to women worldwide. We'll make sure your messages are shared across the globe.

Your message will instantly be displayed on our message board and you'll join our fight against hunger. As a member of our online community, you'll receive the latest news about hunger and what we're accomplishing together.

Simply fill out the form below. Getting involved is the first step towards change.

Fighting hunger worldwide

Who has signed

[I wrote the following:]

  • Julian, United States of America
    I support Indigenous, Black, Brown, and Asian women in their efforts to create and maintain sustainable local economies, free of Western interference, free of the WTO and the IMF, as they build their own futures, sustainable, and without being exploited by white supremacist countries.
  • Pablo, Ecuador
    I support women in the fight against hunger.
  • Kevin, Ireland
    I support women in the fight against hunger.
  • beatrice, Italy
    I support women in the fight against hunger.
  • kehinde Mabinuori, United States of America
    I support women in the fight against hunger.
The World Food Programme is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.
Photo: WFP/David Gross
In emergencies, we get food to where it is needed, saving the lives of victims of war, civil conflict and natural disasters. After the cause of an emergency has passed, we use food to help communities rebuild their shattered lives.

WFP is part of the United Nations system and is voluntarily funded.

About LPBorn in 1962, WFP pursues a vision of the world in which every man, woman and child has access at all times to the food needed for an active and healthy life. We work towards that vision with our sister UN agencies in Rome -- the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) -- as well as other government, UN and NGO partners.

In 2010 we aim to reach more than 90 million people with food assistance in 73 countries. Around 10,000 people work for the organization, most of them in remote areas, directly serving the hungry poor.  
Download Annual Report

To learn more, watch the video outlining our mission, read our Mission Statement or browse our Policy Resources section.

WFP's five objectives:

  1. Save lives and protect livelihoods in emergencies
  2. Prepare for emergencies
  3. Restore and rebuild lives after emergencies
  4. Reduce chronic hunger and undernutrition everywhere
  5. Strengthen the capacity of countries to reduce hunger

How we are funded

About our Executive Director

 I leave this post with a statement by the Chief of the Gender Unit of the WFP. What follows is from *here*. Her name is Isatou Jallow:

"Women: The Most Effective Solution For Combating Hunger"

Published on 04 March 2010

Isatou Jallow, chief of WFP's Gender Unit.

(Copyright: WFP/Rein Skullerud)
Women form the backbone of the agricultural sector in many countries and play a key role in getting food onto the table. Speaking ahead of International Women's Day, Isatou Jallow, chief of WFP’s Gender Unit, explains the central role that women play in fighting hunger.

What is the significance of International Women’s Day  (8 March) this year?
The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is “Equal rights, equal opportunities: progress for all.” It’s a great theme as it spotlights the fact that everyone stands to win from women’s empowerment—women themselves of course, but also children and men.  This is because women often re-invest a large portion of their resources in their families and communities, also known as ‘redistributing the wealth.’  This could be one reason why countries with greater gender equality tend to have lower poverty rates.

Why does WFP consider women to be at the heart of hunger solutions?
Women are the most effective solution to combating and preventing hunger. In many countries around the world, women are the foundation of agricultural sectors and food systems, making up the bulk of agricultural labourers. They also play a key role in guaranteeing food security for the entire household. Although more than 60 percent of chronically hungry people in the world are women, experience shows that food put in the hands of women is far more likely to reach the mouths of needy children, and to be distributed equitably.

How does WFP's food assistance help women and girls?
First and foremost, we support women and girls by providing them with nutritious foods during the critical stages of their lives – including childhood and pregnancy. Our focus is not to just give any food but to give quality, fortified foods to ensure that we contribute to the nutrient needs of – in particular – newborns, pregnant and lactating women. Nutrition is critical as it is estimated that iron deficiency, anemia and maternal short stature increase the risk of death at delivery and account for at least 20% of maternal mortality.
What are some of the challenges that many women around the world face during emergency situations?

The quote:

"The message ... is to always keep our heads high.  To carry the dream that every woman in Haiti can reach her full potential and be empowered in a new and more nurturing Haiti."
Geri Benoit, Ambassador of the Republic of Haiti to Italy, speaking at a joint IFAD/FAO/WFP International Women's Day event at WFP headquarters
Gender differences in roles mean that men and women are differently affected by crises, whether natural or man-made. Because of their priorities of looking after children, women are often less able to access aid and emergency relief assistance when it is provided. In the security breakdown that often follows a disaster, women are particularly vulnerable to violence. When family members are injured, women’s work burdens increase, sometimes for decades, as they assume the care responsibilities for handicapped family members and other displaced persons. 

Generally, how do women cope during times of crisis?

Women have shown remarkable solidarity during emergencies, such as natural disasters or conflicts. They are often the first to produce fresh food again for their own families and for the surrounding community, always finding a way to go on even in the most desperate of situations.

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