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Deputy Minister Landers receives newly appointed World Food Program Regional Director

5 July 2018
 
On 26 June, 2018, Ms Maria Dolores Castro Benitez presented her Letter of Appointment, as the Regional Director of the World Food Program’s (WFP) Southern African Regional Office, to Deputy Minister Luwellyn Landers.

South Africa’s relationship with the WFP is a multifaceted one which is unique amongst most WFP Member States. Whereas many countries’ relationships focus on either technical assistance, cooperation, donor support or resilience building, South Africa’s relationship with the WFP, and in particular the Southern Africa Regional Office, is a mix of all of these facets, creating a partnership in the truest sense of the word.

South Africa’s cooperation with the WFP through the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) strives to realise the Country’s APEX Priorities as contained in the National Development Plan (NDP), the Nine Point Plan and the New Growth Path in which Agriculture is identified as a sector with the potential to create more than 1 million jobs over a period of five years.

South Africa is recognised as a leader in Humanitarian Diplomacy within the African Continent as well as globally. South Africa, through the WFP has provided Humanitarian assistance to countries that have been afflicted by conflicts and natural disasters including, amongst others: Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland, Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar and the Caribbean Islands.

More importantly, the tangible deliverables illustrated by the nature of the dynamic relationship between South Africa and the WFP includes the training of small holder, female farmers in the Limpopo and Gauteng Provinces. The WFP also provides services to the entire humanitarian community, including passenger air transportation through the UN Humanitarian Air Service. This service includes nine aircraft and crews, leased from South African Companies making South Africa one of the largest single suppliers of aircraft and crews to the organisation.

Common areas of interest between the Government of South Africa and the WFP include the establishment of the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) and the WFP’s efforts to act as a catalyst in the creation of markets for and up skilling of South African emerging small holder farmers and millers as well as the creation of an internship program which speaks directly to President Ramaphosa’s call for assistance in the training and employability of South African entrants to the workforce.

Deputy Minister Landers said that South Africa is proud to be able to continue building on our already strong relations with the WFP under the guidance of the new Regional Director so as to take this strategic relationship to greater heights.

DIRCO

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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June 2018

 
 
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