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BCG’s Partnership with the World Food Programme

A global partner of BCG since 2003, the World Food Programme is the world's largest humanitarian agency. WFP provides emergency relief by meeting urgent food needs, as well as longer-term solutions to hunger and food insecurity. Each year, WFP provides assistance to 80 million people in 82 countries.

For more than a decade, BCG has supported WFP to enhance its effectiveness on a wide range of strategic, operational, and organizational issues. BCG has worked alongside WFP on the highest priority topics for the organization. 

For example, our joint initiatives have included transforming WFP's school feeding program for greater impact—an effort that reaches more than 16 million children across 63 countries. And we've helped further develop alternatives to traditional food assistance, such as the use of cash and vouchers instead of direct food aid in those instances when food is available yet inaccessible to the poor. We also supported WFP in designing a system for emergency food reserves. 

BCG has also helped WFP enhance its organizational effectiveness. By calculating the return on investments in emergency preparedness, we have helped WFP prove the value of preparedness and attract more governments and donors to act on this critical effort. And finally, we have helped WFP develop its knowledge management capabilities. 

We provide more detail on another project below, illustrating how we collaborate with WFP and the impact of our joint efforts.

Some of the innovation at WFP focuses on how the agency can maximize efficiency within the existing funding model. The main issue is that the food-delivery supply chain takes a long time, from start to finish. WFP is constantly looking for ways to maximize its efficiency, with the goal of being able to send supplies and receive goods for delivery before money arrives in its bank account.

We want to know, can we find ways to get cash in our hands earlier, in a way that's acceptable to donors, so we can absolutely maximize our time efficiency—and ideally our cost efficiency as well—in getting food to people who need it?

Working in WFP has been a new experience for me as a consultant. I was using analytical, structuring, and communication skills not to increase revenue or to reduce costs but to understand what really makes a difference in the reduction of chronic hunger and malnutrition.

After lots of data analysis and report reading, I found that the most fascinating experience was going to Peru and Senegal to see what it takes to reduce chronic malnutrition on the ground: who does what, how to make a difference. We will draw on our findings to help WFP define its role on the path to Zero Hunger.

Rebeca SaCouto
Lisbon

BCG Global Partnerships

The World Food Programme's Ertharin Cousin on Becoming Fit for Purpose

Executive Director Ertharin Cousin shares WFP's journey from moving large amounts of food to effectively delivering food assistance programs.

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