11 July 2016 The United Nations food relief agency launched today an initiative to identify and nurture new technologies and business models which will contribute to the global goal of ending hunger by 2030.
Based in Munich, Germany, the Innovation Accelerator combines staff of the World Food Programme (WFP) with experts and entrepreneurs from across the private sector and civil society.
“Every day, WFP and our partners work to meet the emergency food assistance needs of the world’s poorest, yet toughest people living in the most vulnerable places around the globe,” said WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin.
“What we do is not enough to achieve our shared goal of ending hunger by 2030. We must boldly seek new ideas, tools and solutions that make more food available, accessible and ultimately give every person everywhere the ability to feed her or his own children.”
Teams collaborate for three- to six-month periods on selected ideas that are either proposed by WFP innovators with first-hand field knowledge or crowd-sourced by engaging members of the general public.
“We must capture the benefits of new technologies and the revolution in big data. WFP’s desire to collaborate like never before ensures that by working together we will transform how we serve, and the speed at which we deliver. As a result, we will overcome the persistent challenges that even today keep generations locked in hunger and poverty,” Ms. Cousin said.
In September last year, UN Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with 17 major goals, including on eradicating poverty and hunger.
The world has made real progress by reducing the number of people suffering from hunger by 200 million since the 1990s. Yet there are still 795 million people who do not receive enough food for an active healthy life.
Germany is currently the second-largest donor to WFP. The Accelerator is generously supported by contributions from Germany. With 12 projects drawn from WFP’s global operations currently in its portfolio, the Accelerator will both benefit from and contribute to Munich’s strong innovation and start-up community.
News Tracker: past stories on this issue