What to expect from the 2023 Annual Session of the Executive Board


The Executive Board will convene for its annual session from 26-30 June 2023

The 2023 Annual session of the Executive Board will run for four and a half days. As endorsed by the EB Bureau, it will be an in-person session, with the possibility for delegates to participate online if required.

Day 1 will start with the adoption of the agenda and the election to fill vacant positions in the EB Bureau, namely the convenor of List B and the alternate of List A, and the appointment of the Rapporteur. This will be followed by the opening remarks of newly elected Executive Director, Cindy McCain, at her first Board session in such capacity. Recalling the words of the President of the Executive Board, His Excellency Artur Andrzej Pollok, welcoming McCain’s appointment as WFP’s next Executive Director:

“Ambassador McCain takes over as head of the World Food Programme at a moment when the world confronts the most serious food security crisis in modern history and this leadership role has never been more important. We wish her well and can assure her she will have the full support of the Executive Board.”

The afternoon session will lead off with a special address by Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands in her role as the UN Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, which will be followed by the Board’s review of the WFP’s cash policy. Queen Máxima is an advocate for increased access to financial services, improved consumer protection and enhanced financial literacy. According to the UNSGSA website, she "aims to unlock development opportunities and economic inclusion for all".

Find more about the UNSGSA for Inclusive Finance for Development here and Her Majesty Queen Máxima’s bio here.


Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, 2020. Image: © RVD - Martijn Beekman

Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, 2020. Image: © RVD - Martijn Beekman



At no point in modern history have humanitarian needs been greater. In 2022, an estimated 349 million people in 79 countries where WFP operates were acutely food-insecure, a staggering increase of 200 million from pre-COVID-19 levels. In the same year, the funding gap was over USD 25 billion, a situation that had already led to ration cuts and increasingly entrenched hunger. This year, according to the 2023 Global Humanitarian Overview, one out of every 23 people on Earth needs humanitarian assistance, more than double the number just four years ago.

In this context, an oral global overview on humanitarian and operational concerns and priorities will be presented to the Board, followed by regional overviews and updates on WFP operations by each of the Regional Directors.

Focusing on oversight and accountability for the previous year, the annual session will include the presentation of several annual reports, annual accounts, reports of the independent offices, auditors, and advisory bodies. The first report on the agenda, submitted for approval, is the Annual Performance Report for 2022, which provides a comprehensive record of WFP’s performance in 2022. For all other reports, check the annotated provisional agenda here.


  • Cash policy - WFP has gone from delivering USD 10 million to 1 million people in 10 countries in 2009, year in which this assistance modality laid its foundations, to sending USD 3.3 billion to 56 million people in 72 countries in 2022. In view of this huge increase in the implementation of cash-based transfers, a cash policy will be presented to the Board for approval.
  • South–South and triangular cooperation policy update - building on the recommendations of the evaluation of the WFP South–South and Triangular Cooperation policy presented at the 2021 second regular session, an update of the policy will be presented to the Board for its approval.
  • Update on WFP’s response to HIV and AIDS - the document, for information, gives a progress report on the implementation of WFP’s HIV and AIDS policy in the context of continued scaling-up of treatment with anti-retroviral drugs. It also describes recent successes in integrating food and nutrition into Global Fund proposals related to HIV and tuberculosis.
  • Report on the utilization of WFP’s strategic financing mechanisms (1 January–31 December 2022) – the report describes WFP’s use of its strategic financing facilities in 2022; among others, the Immediate Response Account (IRA), which enables WFP to provide immediate assistance through the allocation of flexible, replenishable, revolving multilateral funds to critical life-saving activities in the absence of forecast contributions. Don’t miss the EB side event and exhibition on the IRA (details below).
  • Kenya country strategic plan (2023–2027) – for approval, the total cost to WFP is USD 1,433,999,462
  • Egypt country strategic plan (2023–2028) – for approval, the total cost to WFP is USD 431,312,019
  • Zambia country strategic plan (2023–2028) – for approval, the total cost to WFP is USD 98,463,341
  • Pacific multi-country strategic plan (2023–2027) – for approval, the total cost to WFP is USD 49,320,192

Government officials from Member States have been invited to deliver statements upon the approval of their country strategic plan. These include the Cabinet Secretary of Kenya (in person) and the Deputy Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (virtual).

Check the full Agenda, documentation, and Order of the Day (posted daily on the EB website during the week of the Board) here.


Monday 26 June – Friday 7 July 2023

Exhibit: Cash Based Transfers Art Installation - Women’s Economic Empowerment (Red Foyer)

Given the Cash policy being discussed on Day 1, the participation of Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands and her role, and following the successful side event on digital financial inclusion and women’s economic empowerment through cash transfers at EB.1/2023, the Cash-based Transfers Division will hold an art exhibit that will run from Monday, 26 June to Friday, 31 July 2023 in the Red Foyer to showcase stories of people recounting how cash has changed their lives.

Read more about the exhibit here.

Tuesday 27 June 13:30 – 14:30

The Immediate Response Account (IRA) - WFP’s immediate, life-saving, and last-resort funding mechanism (Auditorium)

How to kick-start an emergency response? Sponsored by the Germany and Switzerland Permanent Representations, and WFP, this side event will illustrate the decision-making process for allocating funding within 72 hours of a sudden onset emergency and the impact of immediately available flexible funding.

The event will be introduced by the newly appointed DED and Chief Operating Officer, Carl Skau. The panel will see government officials, including the Director-General for Crisis Prevention, Stabilization, Peacebuilding and Humanitarian Assistance – German Federal Foreign Office; and Her Excellency Nicole Ruder, Ambassador and Vice-Director Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

Read more here.


Thursday 22 June – Friday 7 July 2023

Exhibit: Kick-Starting an Emergency Response (Red lifts foyer)

In addition, an exhibit dedicated to the kick-starting of an emergency response will run from Thursday 22 June to Friday, 7 July 2023 in the red lifts foyer, to draw attention to the importance of the IRA and showcase its impact through photos, text and an interactive display.

Read more about the exhibit here and how flexible funding impacts WFP operations at https://www.wfp.org/immediate-response-account



Thursday 29 June 13:30 – 14:30

WFP’s Framework for Action for achieving zero hunger in an Urbanizing World (Auditorium)

The event will mark the official launch of WFP’s first-ever Urban Strategy, highlighting the evidence on how urbanization impacts food security and nutrition with 70 percent of all food produced globally destined for consumption in urban locations. Moderated by the Deputy Director of the Programme Humanitarian and Development Division, a keynote presentation will be delivered by Dr Stephen Devereux, Global Expert and Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, followed by a round table with WFP, FAO and the World Bank representatives.

Read more here.