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Source: World Food Programme (WFP)
14 January 2011

WFP Executive Director On Three-Day Visit To Middle East

CAIRO – The Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), Josette Sheeran, will begin a three-day mission to the occupied Palestinian territory, Israel and Jordan on 17 January during which she will be visiting WFP projects and meeting government officials, partners and WFP staff.

On Monday 17 January, Sheeran will visit school meals projects and an innovative electronic food voucher project in the West Bank. She will visit the oldest school in Hebron to meet students and see the impact that the programme had on the lives of many children. School feeding, concentrated in food-insecure governorates with high unemployment and poverty levels, is a safety net mechanism and an incentive to maintain the enrolment of girls and boys in schools. More than 75,000 schoolchildren receive WFP’s school snacks in the West Bank.

Sheeran will also stop in a shop where WFP has been providing the most vulnerable Palestinians with food assistance through an electronic voucher system. Food vouchers allow WFP to address hunger when food is available but people are unable to afford it and at the same time inject money into the local economy, thereby supporting local producers.

Sheeran will meet high level Palestinian officials including the Minister of Education, the Minister of Social Affairs, and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in Ramallah.

On Tuesday 18 January, Sheeran will meet Israeli President Shimon Peres and high level Israeli officials.

Sheeran will depart to Jordan on Wednesday 19 January where she will meet government officials and visit food for work projects started by WFP in 1997 and handed over to the Government of Jordan in early 2008. The project resulted in the transformation of over 35,000 hectare of bare lands into forestry and agricultural farmlands and the planting of over 3 million olive and fruit trees. Today the project provides the Kingdom with more than 70 percent of country’s production of olive oil and thousands of job opportunities for local communities. Later in the day, she will meet with WFP Country Directors from the Middle East, Central Asia and East Europe gathered in the Dead Sea for their annual regional meeting.

Media Arrangements: 

For further details and information on the visit, contact WFP Regional Information Officer, Abeer Etefa, who will be in Jerusalem and Amman

Mob:  + 972 5 4677 3153 or +2 016 663 4352

For more information about the World Food Programme, visit

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