Ms. Rukia Yacoub, Representative and Country Director of the World Food Programme in Ghana
Ms. Rukia Yacoub assumed her position as Representative and Country Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Ghana in July 2017.
She brings to her post a wealth of experience in implementing, managing and coordinating humanitarian and development programmes, both in least developing and lower-middle income countries. She worked as Deputy Country Director of WFP in Yemen from 2014 to 2016, and in Egypt from 2009 to 2014. During a five-month period in Yemen, she acted as Country Director managing a large emergency operation which provided life-saving food assistance to over six million people.
Before joining WFP, she worked with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Italy and Switzerland, with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in South Sudan, and with Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in Rwanda.
Ms. Yacoub’s development work in Egypt is particularly relevant to her work in Ghana as both are lower middle-income countries. Her focus during her tenure is to develop WFP’s Enhanced Nutrition and Value Chains project (ENVAC) to be a model integrated food security and nutrition programme. Working with private sector agro-processing companies and smallholder farmers, ENVAC uses a market-based approach to provide specialised nutritious foods to vulnerable women and children, to prevent stunting. On gender inequalities, her focus is to expand WFP’s take-home ration programme which provides incentives to adolescent girls in food insecure areas, to remain and complete Junior High School, thereby increasing opportunities for them to break out of the cycle of hunger and poverty, and secure a better future. She will also advocate for wider use of SCOPE, WFP’s cloud-based digital solution, to manage beneficiaries’ identities and entitlements, and ensure accountability and transparency.
Ms. Yacoub has a Master of Science in Human Nutrition from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.