Slides Framework

South-South and Triangular Cooperation

WFP’s Growing Role in Facilitating South-South Cooperation

South-South Cooperation (SSC) involves two or more developing countries exchanging knowledge, expertise and technical and financial resources in pursuit of their own or mutual development objectives. Over the past decades, the approach gained recognition as an effective framework for collaboration between developing countries to achieve the SDGs.

In response to the rising requests of governments, WFP is playing a facilitating or “triangular” role by brokering South-South partnerships which focus on achieving SDG 2. The approach recognizes the valuable knowledge and experiences of developing countries and aims to bring more countries on board as partners.

Since 2011, WFP established three Centres of Excellence (CoEs) in Brazil, China and Cote D’Ivoire; adopted the South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) Policy in 2015; and expanded partnerships with key actors including the Rome-Based agencies. Linked to WFP's growing engagement in SSTC, country offices are provided with tools and guidance to develop South-South country activities to strengthen areas such as social protection, resilience-building, early warning analysis and nutrition.

Rising investment in SSTC

In 2019, solid achievements in SSTC were made at the country office and regional bureau level and through the essential work of the CoEs acting as South-South knowledge “hubs”. The percentage of WFP’s country offices engaging in SSC increased from 48 percent in 2014 to 85 percent in 2019, demonstrating the importance that WFP’s host governments place on SSC as a strategy to tackle national, regional and global food security and nutrition challenges.

To promote the shift towards more coherent country level SSTC projects, WFP launched the first wave of SSTC field pilots to build resilience of vulnerable smallholder farmers. The pilots were launched in: Ecuador; Kenya; Sri Lanka; and the Republic of Congo, with seed funding from China (MARA). In addition, WFP CoEs assisted other developing countries to access their host government’s experiences to support efforts to achieve zero hunger through SSTC.

  • 85%

    of WFP country offices engaged in SSTC, an increase from 48 percent in 2014

  • 4

    country-level SSC pilots launched with funding and technical assistance from China

  • 10


    across Africa and Asia supported by the WFP Brazil Centre of Excellence in advancing their efforts on SDG 2 targets. First WFP Centre of Excellence established in Africa – WFP Regional Centre of Excellence Against Hunger and Malnutrition (CERFAM) based in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

  • WFP-facilitated South-South Cooperation in the face of COVID-19

    WFP’s operating environment is changing in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this context, WFP is uniquely positioned to support governments, local organizations, and partners to rapidly adapt their interventions in areas such as national social protection systems, basic delivery systems (including school feeding and nutrition) and food systems as outlined in WFP’s COVID-19 – Medium Term Programme Framework.

    To support host governments during and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, WFP relies on all partners to join forces and address arising capacity, food security and nutrition needs in the developing world.

    Facilitating South-South cooperation is expected to play an even more important role as a vehicle to make knowledge, technology and resources available in developing countries to address the impact of COVID-19 and strengthen national systems.

    WFP’s Future Strategic Direction on SSTC

    Looking ahead at 2020, WFP’s future strategic direction will be reviewed based on the results of the evaluation on the 2015 WFP SSTC Policy and feedback from a dedicated global SSTC task force.

    The vision for WFP’s engagement in brokering SSC involves: strengthening the role of country offices in brokering South-South exchanges and expanding WFP’s collaboration with host governments on zero hunger country capacity strengthening in development contexts.

    WFP will build on its strong operational capacity and deep field presence to enable countries to transform zero hunger from a goal into reality. The objective is to position governments in a way that allows them to support themselves and each other in addressing food needs directly.

    • Click on the report for further details

      Report Cover
    • Interested in learning more about WFP’s results in this thematic area?

      Please feel free to reach out to us for briefings, presentations or additional reading resources and to be subscribed to receive next year’s Beyond the Annual Performance Report series.


    • to show