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

September 2022

Today the world faces a devastating hunger pandemic, triggered by a perfect storm of conflict, climate change, COVID-19 and soaring food, fuel, and fertilizer costs. As a result, millions of the world’s poorest people are being driven to starvation as levels of acute hunger soar in dozens of countries.

This immensely challenging environment requires smart and adaptable solutions to help the World Food Programme reach a record number of vulnerable people. Technology and innovation are the Great Enablers of this critically important mission, helping us save lives and change lives more efficiently and effectively than ever.

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

This platform showcases WFP’s cutting-edge projects and the innovative ways that companies, entrepreneurs, and individuals can work with us so that, together, we achieve even more. 

It is nearly 60 years since WFP started delivering food to vulnerable communities threatened by natural disasters and war. Since then, we have embraced innovation and technology to forge closer relationships with the people we serve, helping them to decide what they need and pushing ourselves to be even better.

We have harnessed the extraordinary benefits of mobile technology, artificial intelligence, responsible data management, and secure digital finance to support people in crisis. This is why, for example, we developed WFP’s Farm2Go app, which connects thousands of farmers in Kenya and Rwanda with training and information on weather and local agriculture.

Innovation and digital technology are written into WFP’s corporate DNA - but the speed and scale at which the humanitarian community needs to embrace them must continue to accelerate.

In just the past two years, digital solutions have helped WFP save enough money to provide 73 million more meals. We have achieved these efficiencies with projects such as Building Blocks, a privately managed blockchain network created in 2017, which now helps over a million refugees access monthly cash and food entitlements from a range of different organizations, as well water, hygiene, and sanitation support. But we need to scale up programs like these so the precious resources they release can be ploughed back into food assistance.

The sheer size of WFP’s global footprint allows us to be even more ambitious. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, WFP launched the Emergency Service Marketplace, using real-time data to deliver medical supply shipments such as ventilators, personal protective equipment, and testing kits to over 100 countries for 72 organizations.

In a world where a few seconds or a mile longer can be the difference between life and death, WFP's commitment to using innovation and technology enables us to move closer to our shared goal of eliminating hunger by 2030. As you explore this site, I hope it will inspire you with ways to 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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