SYDNEY – United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Ertharin Cousin will make a two-day visit to Australia this week to participate in the Business 20 Australia (B20) Summit in Sydney on Thursday 17 and Friday 18 July.
The B20 Australia Summit will bring together business leaders from across G20 member countries to focus on developing a set of clear, actionable recommendations that drive global economic growth and create jobs. They will be delivered to the G20 Presidency for consideration at G20 Leaders' Summit to be held in Brisbane, Australia in November.
On Friday, Cousin will be a panellist on “The impact of G20 growth on food security.” As the head of the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger, Cousin will provide insight into the impact of food insecurity on the world’s most vulnerable people. She will outline how WFP is working with public and private partners to link public safety nets to economic opportunity.
Cousin’s Australian agenda also includes meetings with business leaders to explore partnership opportunities. Australian businesses lead in the Asia-Pacific region, where WFP has many programmes aimed at achieving zero hunger.
The private sector’s specialized knowledge and expertise can help WFP assist hungry people more quickly and efficiently and through its networks reach new audiences to raise awareness and funds. On average, over the past 5 years, WFP’s private partners have ranked as WFP’s ninth largest donor, with cash and in-kind contributions totalling US$84.4 million in 2013 alone.
This is Cousin’s fourth visit to Australia since becoming WFP Executive Director in 2012. As one of WFP’s strongest advocates, the Government of Australia has consistently been among WFP’s top 10 donors, playing a critical role in the Asia-Pacific region. As Asia undergoes substantial and dynamic economic and social changes, the Australian government’s commitment to the region, and regional stability and security is reflected in its partnership with WFP’s programmes.
To date in 2014, Australia has contributed over US$20.5 million to WFP programmes in Asia such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Lao PDR and DPR of Korea.