Achieving Zero Hunger and eradicating malnutrition by 2030 – as mandated by Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 2) – is the World Food Programme’s raison d’être. In a fast-moving world, the challenges posed by this mission are constantly changing, and so are the tools and approaches that can be used to overcome them.
WFP embraces innovation and has a proven track record of piloting, implementing and scaling new ideas. This is not limited to adopting novel technologies, but includes different ways of designing and executing its programmes. Whether it is using mobile phones to gather data from inaccessible areas via SMS or transfer cash to people on the move, adopting iris scan technology to identify people entitled to receive assistance, promoting airtight storage equipment or piloting hydroponic farming techniques to improve the livelihoods of refugee communities, WFP constantly strives to find ever more effective ways to ensure nobody goes hungry.
In this vein, WFP works to continually improve its already adopted innovations. For example, it has successfully piloted and is now scaling up blockchain technology to deliver cash-based assistance to Syrian refugees in Jordan. WFP is looking at how a blockchain-based system can be used to provide a solution for improved digital identity management, as well as more efficient supply chain operations.
To maintain this forward-looking approach, WFP keeps a close watch on the latest developments and proactively encourages innovative thinking on the part of its staff and external companies, including through the organization’s Innovation Accelerator in Munich, Germany. Launched in 2016 and modelled after private sector start-up accelerators, the WFP Accelerator supports the piloting and further roll-out of pioneering solutions to help ending hunger.