The WFP official made the pledge in Dar es Salaam, when he officially presented his credentials to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, East Africa, Regional and International Cooperation, Dr Augustine Mahiga.
“I am very pleased to have arrived and taken up my position at a time when WFP is defining its new five year strategy, which will align with the government’s national plans and the UN Development Action Plan,” said Dunford.
“These are exciting times for Tanzania with the new government showing strong leadership and Tanzania moving toward becoming a middle-income country,” he added.
“I am looking forward to using WFP’s expertise in supporting the government’s efforts toward reducing poverty and hunger in Tanzania,” he said.
Dunford, a qualified lawyer from Australia, has worked for WFP for 15 years.
Before assuming his post in Tanzania, he was Deputy Country Representative and Acting Country Representative in Uganda for four years overseeing WFP’s response to the dramatic refugee influxes from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Extensive work was also done on programmes related to nutrition, resilience building and linking smallholder farmers to markets. As a result, WFP Uganda trained almost 100,000 farmers on strategies to reduce post-harvest losses, which in turn improved farmers’ profits.
Prior to being posted in Africa, Dunford was Deputy Country Director for WFP in Bangladesh from 2009 to 2012 and in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea from 2006-2008.
In Tanzania, WFP implements programmes to fight hunger by providing improved nutrition, empowering farmers to adapt to climate change and strengthening market access for smallholder farmers.
In 2016, WFP aims to reach more than half a million Tanzanians in chronically food insecure areas and provide food for more than 200,000 refugees in north-western Tanzania.
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.