WFP Expands Resilience Activities to Support Small-Scale Farmers in Zambia

Photo: WFP/Andy Higgins/2021
Published February 27, 2024

LUSAKA – With $500,000 from Citi Foundation, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is ramping up a ground-breaking initiative that seeks to strengthen resilience to climate crises and boost financial inclusion for 17,200 small-scale farmers in Zambia over the next two years.

The grant from Citi Foundation is part of its Global Innovation Challenge awarded to World Food Program USA in support of the U.N. World Food Programme’s resilience activities in Zambia. World Food Program USA is one of 50 recipients of the Citi Foundation’s inaugural Global Innovation Challenge, which is supporting organizations that address food security and strengthen the physical and financial health of low-income families and communities.

Farmers will receive training on financial literacy skills, agricultural practices, access to affordable credit and risk insurance, and forecasting services. The U.N. World Food Programme will also scale up the use of the Maano – Virtual Farmers Market application. On this app-based e-commerce platform, farmers’ surplus and buyers’ demand for crops are advertised and marketed.

“This program is a game-changer. We are thrilled to partner with the Citi Foundation to facilitate services that promote climate risk insurance, helping farmers to enhance productivity by limiting the risk of crop loss and boosting access to credit,” said Cissy Byenkya, WFP’s country director in Zambia. “Through this program, we hope to empower farmers with the necessary tools and resources to overcome climate-related challenges and increase their income and food security.”

The initiative also seeks to address gender disparities that exist in accessing resources and opportunities. With a strong focus on women farmers, the program will work towards empowering them and ensuring their active participation in decision-making processes.

“The Citi Foundation is proud to support the U.N. World Food Programme in their mission to uplift smallholder farmers in Zambia,” said Lowani Chibesakunda, CEO of Citi in Zambia. “By combining digital innovation, financial literacy, and capacity-building components, this program has the potential to impact the lives of farmers significantly and contribute to sustainable food systems.”

The program, jointly implemented by the U.N. World Food Programme and the government of Zambia, was launched in early October 2023, with a focus on to increasing access to affordable capital and managing climate-related risks for small-scale farmers in Zambia.

The collaboration between the U.N. World Food Programme and the Citi Foundation demonstrates the benefits of humanitarian organizations and the private sector working together to address food security challenges and promote sustainable development.

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About the United Nations World Food Programme

The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and the world’s leading humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

About World Food Program USA

World Food Program USA, a 501©(3) organization based in Washington, DC, proudly supports the mission of the United Nations World Food Programme by mobilizing American policymakers, businesses, and individuals to advance the global movement to end hunger. To learn more about World Food Program USA’s mission, please visit

About the Citi Foundation

The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant communities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit

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