International mandate: German SAI to audit the World Food Programme


On 1 July 2022, the German SAI assumed the mandate to audit the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). The six-year term of the mandate starts at a time when the WFP faces a special challenge.

In 2021, WFP revealed in a press release that some 193 million people in 53 countries or territories experienced acute food insecurity at crisis or worse levels. WFP has committed to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. WFP is the leading humanitarian organization. In 2020, WFP was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

WFP is active in 84 countries. Employing some 20,000 staff members worldwide and having a US$8.4 billion budget, WFP is one of the largest organizations within the system of the United Nations. Germany’s annual contribution totals €1.2 billion in 2021, making it the second largest donor after the United States.

With its work, WFP contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular in achieving zero hunger and harnessing the global partnerships that can help achieve this.

President Scheller appointed as External Auditor

The Executive Board appointed the President of the German SAI, Kay Scheller, as External Auditor for the term of six years (1 July 2022 – 30 June 2028). In a demanding selection procedure, the German SAI prevailed over vigorous competition.

The German SAI’s mandate to audit WFP follows up on the membership in the UN Board of Auditors which ended in June 2022.

The better the WFP’s structures and processes, the more effective WFP can provide help. With our work, we wish to contribute to this.

Kay Scheller, President of the German SAI

WFP is governed by the Executive Board. It consists of the representatives of 36 member states and meets at least three times per year in Rome. Germany has a Permanent Mission to the United Nations organizations located in Rome.

Based in Rome, the WFP Secretariat and its 2,000 staff members are responsible for implementing the decisions made by the Executive Board. Together with six regional bureaux, it is the WFP headquarters for currently 85 country offices globally. Acting Chief (Executive Director) of the WFP Secretariat is David Beasley (US).

Auditors to conduct field work

Some 20 auditors form the WFP audit team within the German SAI. They look into the accounts and the WFP’s performance. For this purpose, they travel to at least seven countries per year to get an overall picture. Provided security is acceptable, 2022 travel destinations are Syria, Yemen and Kongo. In 2023, audits are planned, for example, in Nigeria, the Sahel and South Sudan.

Other international audit mandates

Alongside the WFP mandate, the German SAI and its staff members are responsible for auditing several smaller organizations: