International Development Minister Heikki Eidsvoll Holmås commented, “I congratulate Elisabeth Rasmusson on getting this job. The World Food Programme saves lives. It brings food to people suffering from need, war and famine. We need more Norwegians who are willing to take on challenging international tasks.”
The World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organisation and plays a key role in the fight against hunger and malnutrition.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide commented, “I am pleased that Ms Rasmusson will be leading this work. She is a very good choice for this demanding position, and will be one of the highest placed Norwegians in the UN system.”
Ms Rasmusson is currently Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council. In her new position she will be one of four top managers under WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin.
“The World Food Programme distributes food, food vouchers and cash to around 100 million people all over the world every year. It also provides logistical assistance to other humanitarian organisations, in the form of aircraft, ships and trucks,” said Mr Holmås.
“Partnerships with other multilateral organisations, civil society organisations and the private sector are important for the World Food Programme to be able to meet its goals,” said Mr Eide.
Ms Rasmusson has extensive international experience. She has been Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council since 2008. She has previously worked as field coordinator for the UN in Angola, delegate for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Colombia, deputy head of the OSCE mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Norwegian Refugee Council’s representative in Georgia. She has also been a member of the CERF Advisory Group.
The World Food Programme has an annual budget of around NOK 25 billion. Norway provides around NOK 250 million a year to assist in addressing crisis situations all over the world. WFP is Norway’s most important humanitarian partner due to its ability to provide emergency relief on a large scale in difficult and often dangerous situations. It is regarded as one of the most effective reform-minded UN organisations.