World Affairs Council Houston & Dallas

inside yemen:

Hunger, Humanitarian Aid, and Hope

Yemen is a nation on the brink of collapse. Devastated by more than 5 years of civil war, the humanitarian situation in Yemen is dire. Economic volatility and conflict have stretched Yemenis’ ability to cope to the breaking point, leaving millions deeply vulnerable and famine a real threat. In the first half of 2021, about 16 million people face acute levels of food insecurity, with a return of famine-like conditions for the first time in two years. Over 24 million people rely on humanitarian assistance to get by. According to the 2021 Global Report on Food Crises—an analysis of global food insecurity by 16 partners including the United Nations World Food Programme—conflict remains the leading driver of hunger globally, with about 99 million severely hungry people living across 23 conflict-affected countries. If adequately funded this year, the United Nations World Food Programme aims to provide emergency food assistance to about 13 million people as well as malnutrition treatment and prevention to 3.3 million children and mothers. Join our panelists for an inside view into Yemen’s hunger crisis and how the U.N. World Food Programme is feeding and assisting Yemenis and working to build resilience.


  • Annabel Symington, United Nations World Food Programme, Communications & Media Officer, Yemen
  • Jessamyn Sarmiento, World Food Program USA, Chief Marketing Officer
  • Skye Fitzgerald, Director, Academy-Nominated Documentary HUNGER WARD

World Affairs Council Charlotte:

Feeding the World Through Innovation

How Technology and the Corporate Sector Collaborate to Fight Global Hunger

Default text Necessity is the mother of invention. Nowhere is that truer than at the United Nations World Food Programme, the largest humanitarian organization on a mission to create a zero-hunger world. Innovation and technology has been fundamental to the U.N. World Food Programme’s operations and logistics for sixty years and a driving force behind its ability to feed and support more than 100 million people each year. In its early years, the U.N. World Food Programme introduced humanitarian airlifts, airdrops and vehicle leasing, email via radio connections and assistance distribution through e-vouchers. Today, it leverages technology including mobile, biometrics, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and digital finance to empower and improve the lives of its beneficiaries. When faced with conflict, disaster or famine, every second and every mile can be the difference between life and death. Innovation is essential to enabling WFP to scale and respond quickly to emergencies so that it helps as many people as possible. Join us as we talk to experts and private-sector partners about the cutting-edge technology that the U.N. World Food Programme currently employs and the solutions currently under development at the Innovation Accelerator to resolve key humanitarian challenges. Generic Heading

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  • Bernhard Kowatsch, United Nations World Food Programme, Director of Innovation Accelerator
  • Gabriela Alvarado, United Nations World Food Programme, Chief of IT Emergency Preparedness and Response
  • Dr. Tiffani Burt, Sealed Air Innovation and Sustainability, Executive Director of the Materials Lifecycle Team
  • Moderator: Jessie Hermann, Director of Programs and Community Outreach at the World Affairs Council of Charlotte

World Affairs Council Seattle

THe food crisis in Latin America

The effects of COVID-19 are profound and wide-reaching in Latin America, a hard-hit region where there has been a 269 percent rise in people facing severe food insecurity. And now, a pandemic-induced recession threatens to wipe out years of economic, humanitarian and social progress in the region. More than one-third of the population will face unemployment and food insecurity, threatening dire, long-term impacts for Latin America. What are the broader implications of this food crisis in Latin America, and what are states in the region and the international community doing to prevent tens of millions more people from falling into extreme poverty and unprecedented food insecurity?


  • Laura Melo, United Nations World Food Programme, Country Director in Guatemala
  • Angela Montoya, WFP Private Sector Partnerships Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)
  • María Nelly Rivas, Cargill, VP of Government Relations, Latin America
  • Moderator: Chris Megargee, Latin America Ambassador at Covenant House International

World Affairs Council Atlanta:

Hunger Crisis: Fighting Food Insecurity in a Pandemic

This program offers an in-depth, behind-the-scenes discussion on the United Nations World Food Programme’s emergency response to COVID-19. The event also explored the vital role that the private sector, including companies like UPS, play in supporting humanitarian efforts.


  • Barron Segar, World Food Program USA, President & CEO
  • Alex Marianelli, United Nations World Food Programme, Director, Supply Chain Division
  • Joe Ruiz, The UPS Foundation, Vice President of Social Impact
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