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Governments are WFP's principal partners. The Agency consults with national and local authorities at every stage of the planning process.

The Programme may provide the food aid itself and, in some cases, the technical and logistical expertise, but its projects always require the full support and involvement of individual governments. Ultimately, it is the national government who must request WFP's intervention in emergencies or development projects, so the Programme's work must fit into the national picture.

In most cases, however, governments will consult WFP country offices before drawing up disaster prevention plans or making a request for development aid.

For its part, WFP takes measures to ensure that once its own contribution to a project is phased out, the national government will make every effort to pursue the project's objectives.

Only in exceptional circumstances, such as a complex crisis when the national authorities may have lost control of their territory, can WFP provide assistance without an invitation from the government - and only then at the special request of the United Nations Secretary General.