Thank you to @Backpackfarm, @Rachel Zedek, @Dave and @bob from Ethiopia for all your questions
@Rachel Zedeck: we are totally, totally committed to transparency. It's a question of using the funds in the way that will get the most food to the most hungry people.
For anyone listening to the debate via the telephone dial in, please make sure your phone is on mute. We seem to be picking up background noise from callers' phones which is obscuring the audio of the debate.
@Dave on the subject of sustainability and helping countries feed themselves, perhaps you don't know that WFP makes a point of buying as much food as it can in the country or region where it's needed. This means we are supporting local markets and local food production in a direct way.
@Dave something else we are doing to help poor countries feed themselves is our Purchase for Progress programme. This aims to give poor farmers better access to markets. We work with other UN, NGO and government partners to help smallholder farmers develop their farming techniques, produce more and get a fair price for it on markets. You can learn more about this here: www.wfp.org/purchase-progress
Adrian Finighan will chair the next panel discussion which is called "Who should the hungry turn to? The role of the media, the humanitarian community and governments in determining who gets help"
good question. don't have that information right now, but I'll try to get it for you.
Adrian Finighan is an anchor on CNN and formerly of BBC World.
We're going to explore the different agendas of aid organisations, the media and governments
Some more info on our panelists for this afternoon: - Adrian Finighan has won international recognition as an anchor on CNN and previously BBC World. He has spent more than 20 years in the media, majoring in international news in the last decade. Adrian began his career in radio with the BBC but has since had a wide-ranging career with BBC World News, Sky news, CNBC and several regional UK TV programmes. He joined CNN in 2006 where he currently presents World Business Today and CNN World News.
Charles Vincent is Director of the WFP office in Geneva. From 2004 to 2008, he was successively WFP Representative and Country Director in Afghanistan and DR Congo where he led two of the most complex operations for WFP. He was WFP Representative and Country Director in Haiti in the late ‘90s and Head of Office and Emergency Coordinator during the 1992-95 war in the Former Yugoslavia.
Janet McBride says what agencies see as the main crisis in any given moment may not be the same as what I as a journalist see
Janet McBride, editor Political and General News, Europe, Middle East and Africa - we have people on the ground everywhere so Reuters is perhaps not as reliant on the aid world as other outlets
Janet McBridge talking of the crisis in Haiti - Reuters was actually on the ground before the aid agencies. But the challenge generally is to sift through the news from the aid world - who's on the ground in places that are hard to reach?
Janet McBride - Aid agencies are the eyes and ears on the ground for many media organisations at the start of some emergencies, but as soon as we get our people there we're less interested.
Brendan Gormley - in Haiti there were actually many local Haitian organisations who were on the ground when the quake struck - they have just as much to say to the media as international organisations
Janet McBride is Editor Political and General News, Europe, Middle East and Africa. She has worked at Thomson Reuters for 15 years and during that time reported on political and general news, energy and financial news from many datelines.
Brendan Gormley is Chief Executive of the UK’s Disasters Emergency Committee. He began his humanitarian career with Oxfam where he worked for nearly 30 years. For a decade he worked on environmental and pastoral issues in Africa and urban problems in the Middle East. In 1991, he returned to the charity’s headquarters as Africa Director and, most recently, Asia and Latin America Director, responsible for Oxfam’s programme and staff on three continents.
Brendan Gormley - When we issue an appeal, in actual fact it's an admission of failure because it means normal funding mechanisms haven't worked properly.
Gormley - Good humanitarian aid is preventative, so get more bag for your money if able to avoid crisis
Brendan Gormley - if you can get the message across that there is real need and something can be done about it, a place like the UK is actually very generous - the DEC has no evidence that there has been a tail-off in public support following the surge in donations during the Indian Ocean Tsunami
Charles Vincent says until mid-1990s WFP had little interaction with media. Since then there's been a change and now the idea is to draw the media's attention to hunger situations.
Adrian Finighan - there is a fine line between drawing attention to a crisis that needs reporting, and irritating journalists - some organisations go over the top in the messages they put out to the media
Greg Barrow says not all WFP's funding comes from govts, also from private sector and individuals (often online).
Greg Barrow to Janet McBride - what motivates you most when deciding which stories to cover?
Janet McBride - Sometimes I'm curious about what aid agencies want from us when they contact us about an emergency somewhere. I see input from aid agencies as part o fthe jigsaw, part of conveying the picture of a country in need.
Brendan Gormley is talking about Niger and the challenge for aid agencies of getting more coverage - it's been extremely difficult. He was told by senior journalists that to get that covered they would need to find a way to tie into the Nigeria and Ghana football teams!
Gormley - The best media teams in agencies are those driven by the same principles as journalists they're talking to.
Thanks @Jesse Osmun - we'll be discussing just those crucial issues sustainability in the next panel debate. We'll put your questions to our panel and keep you posted of replies!
Charles Vincent says giving decision-makers and the media accurate, full information in the end will bring more money than issuing an appeal
Do governments respond more generously when a major paper picks up a story? Yes, absolutely, says Brendan Gormley
Brendan Gormley says in his view that WFP shouldn't be developing another competitive fundraising effort in what is an already crowded arena
We really risk slicing the cake too thinly with so many organisations competing for the same funds. It costs to raise money, says DEC head
Do journalists have a responsibility to people caught in the middle of a crisis? Should journalists take that into account when deciding which stories to cover? Let us know your views and we'll put them to our panel!