UN World Food Program head won't seek new term

AP News
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Posted: Jan 31, 2017 6:50 AM
UN World Food Program head won't seek new term

GENEVA (AP) — World Food Program head Ertharin Cousin says she won't seek a new five-year term.

WFP spokeswoman Bettina Luescher told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday that Cousin has informed U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and staffers with the Rome-based U.N. food assistance agency of her decision.

Cousin's term as WFP executive director expires on April 6.

Luescher said that the American didn't specify her reasons for not seeking a new term, but had indicated "she does it with a great deal of emotion, but without an ounce of regret."

The agency's website says that the WFP is the world's largest humanitarian organization with about 13,500 staffers serving more than 90 million people in 80 countries.

Luescher said that the WFP is now coping with its highest-ever number of crises.

Among the 13 executive directors of WFP since it was created in 1962, the last four — including Cousin — have been American. The Chicago native was nominated for the post in 2009 by then-President Barack Obama.

WFP's executive directors are chosen by the head of the U.N. Secretary General and the head of the U.N.'s Food and Agricultural Organization.