The World Food Programme (WFP) was founded in 1961 as the food aid agency of the UN system by the UN General Assembly and the FAO Conference. It evolved over time as the world’s largest humanitarian agency. Due to its legal status of dual parentage it has reporting obligations to both, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and to the Council of FAO. WFP pursues a vision of the world in which every woman, man and child has access at all times to nutritious food needed for an active and healthy life. Since April 2012, WFP is headed by Executive Director Ertharin Cousin (a former US Ambassador to the Rome based agencies).
WFP is governed by the Executive Board (EB), established by the UN and FAO and composed by 36 Members States of the United Nations or Member Nations of FAO. Switzerland is currently a member of the EB (until February 2015), will then for 2015 and 2016 be an observer, to regain EB membership for 2017 and 2018.
Among all UN humanitarian agencies, WFP receives the biggest share of Swiss Humanitarian Aid contributions. WFP is supported with in-kind and cash contributions as well as subject matter experts (out of the pool of Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit) as secondments. In 2013 these contributions amounted to 79 million USD (among the top 10 donor countries).