THE GREAT ENABLERS

A tradition of innovation and technology at WFP
2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
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WFP Executive Director, Mr David Beasley,
meets Sudan government officials. @WFP/Ratanak Leng

Message from the WFP Executive Director

At the World Food Programme, we believe that food is the best vaccine against chaos – and we know that innovation and technology will help us administer this life-saving protection more effectively and to more people than ever before.  The 2020 Nobel Peace Prize was a truly humbling recognition of everyone who supports WFP’s mission to save lives and change lives. This website is a celebration of the role of innovation and technology in transforming WFP’s operations, and empowering our partners - governments, NGOs and the entire humanitarian community - to do the same.

It is nearly 60 years since WFP started delivering food to communities left vulnerable by natural disasters or war. We have learned a lot since then: using innovation and technology to forge closer relationships with the people we serve, to help them decide what they need and to push ourselves to be even better every step of the way. In the early years, we introduced humanitarian airlifts and airdrops, launched email via radio connections and started humanitarian vehicle leasing. More recently, we have tapped into mobile technology, artificial intelligence, responsible data management and secure digital finance to empower the right people and put choice in the hands of the individual.

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WFP Executive Director visits the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). @WFP/Ratanak Leng

So innovation is nothing new at WFP, but the speed, scale and partnerships that drive it definitely are: each new advance builds bridges between food security, stability and sustainable development to support our beneficiaries’ journey toward self-reliance.

The results speak for themselves. WFP’s SCOPE platform gives 60 million people a digital identity, enabling them to access vital food assistance and other social support programs. Our cash based transfers distribute US$2 billion in assistance each year. Our Emergency Service Marketplace helped over 50 humanitarian organizations keep operating when COVID-19 hit, while our ShareTheMeal app has allowed members of the public to donate a meal to a hungry child more than 90 million times with just a few taps of their smartphones.

These are not just statistics - they represent real people. People like Nihaya and her three children, who live in a remote village in Jordan, but use WFP hydroponic techniques to increase their dairy yields and consequently their family’s income.

Or young men like Yasser, who had to stop his education when he fled Syria, working odd jobs to feed his family until a WFP training program gave him access to the digital jobs market.

Or families like Anwara’s in Bangladesh, who live in the world’s largest refugee camp, but can easily collect services from different organizations without physical contact, because WFP quickly swapped fingerprint ID readers for digital QR codes when the pandemic hit. 

 In a world where even a split second or a mile longer can be the difference between life and death, WFP’s tradition of using innovation and technology is enabling us to move closer to our goal of eliminating hunger by 2030.  As you explore this website, I hope it will not only showcase why the Nobel Peace Prize rests on the broad shoulders of so many people, but also inspire you with ways you can help build the better world we all want to see. Let’s work together, in partnership, to achieve it.

David Beasley
Executive Director, World Food Programme

The World Food Programme (WFP) is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

"for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict."
Berit Reiss-Andersen, Chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee
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The great enablers

The dignity of EMPOWERMENT

To be effective, innovation and technology should allow the people we serve to unlock their true potential.

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The urgency of SPEED

Every second counts in the fight against hunger and WFP and its partners can hear the clock ticking. Doing things better and faster means forging partnerships with the people we serve – in their local contexts. Time can make the difference between life and death and we can’t afford to waste it on solutions that aren’t context specific.

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The latitude of SCALE

As the largest humanitarian organization in the world fighting hunger, we solve immense logistical puzzles every day. And we do this with a spirit of innovation and a curiosity for technology. Scaling up solutions to these puzzles brings us closer to the people we serve.

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The power of
CHOICE

Great ideas often start small like a seed planted in a vast field, but they have the potential to sprout, flourish, and transform an entire landscape. Innovation and technology can breed solutions that change the entire humanitarian ecosystem, introducing choices to governments, communities and families where only barriers once existed.

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