The UN World Food Programme launched Innovation Accelerator to support identification, nurturing and scaling up technological solutions that will help to reach Sustainable Development Goal 2 on ending hunger by 2030.
During the official launch of the Accelerator, WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin underscored that the World Food Programme’s and its partners’ efforts are still not enough to achieve ambitious goal of Zero 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,” said Ms. Cousin.
Technological advancements and digital innovations can significantly improve the way we serve vulnerable populations across the globe. Therefore, it’s essential to develop high-impact, human centered innovations that will help spur progress towards Zero Hunger. “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,” added Ms. Cousin.
The Innovation Accelerator is based in Munich and is supported by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Federal Foreign Office of Germany and the Bavarian State Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Forestry.
“Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals is ambitious and requires us to accelerate our current efforts. The WFP Innovation Accelerator will unlock the immense potential that German academia, research institutions, the private sector and the development community have to offer. Germany is currently the second-largest donor to WFP, and investing in innovation will increase the value of our financial contributions,” said Dr. Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development in Germany.
The Accelerator will serve as a fast-paced and creative environment where internal WFP staff and innovators from across the private sector and civil society will be exploring long-term technologies and business model innovations and developing cutting-edge human centered lean startup projects. The team will collaborate on selected ideas for over 3-6 months. The Accelerator will support innovations from prototype/early proof-of-concept to scale and will be working on identifying funds and networks to support project scale-up.
“New approaches must be found if we want to ensure that nobody on our planet has to go hungry any more. To this end we need to enhance the links between humanitarian aid, business, research and civil society. The Innovation Accelerator will contribute to the development of new technologies and business models which will benefit people in need,” German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Frank Steinmeier said.
WFP Executive Director added, ”The current unprecedented level of crises requires us all to do more with less … Innovation must be our new norm.”
For more details about Innovation Accelerator, click here.
Source: UN World Food Programme
by Natalie Myhalnytska
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