WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran speaks to a meeting of business leaders on the sidelines of the UN Millennium Development Goals summit to discuss their growing involvement in the fight against hunger. Photo: UN Global Compact/Michael Dames
WFP is partnering with private sector companies to develop innovative hunger solutions. The ingenuity, power and reach of the private sector are opening up “a world of possibility” in the fight against hunger, says WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran.
NEW YORK -- The World Food Programme is joining hands with private sector companies to develop innovative hunger solutions, WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran announced on Wednesday, following a major gathering of private sector companies during the United Nations General Assembly.
“It is crystal clear that we need the ingenuity, power and reach of the private sector in the critical mission to end hunger,” Sheeran said, adding that the hunger MDG is the most threatened of the eight goals. “Only when companies join with government and the civil society with sustainable solutions can we halve the number of people who go hungry every day.”
Sheeran warmly welcomed her organization’s newest partner, Zynga Games, whose online games are played by 215 million people each month. Zynga will help WFP to roll out “WeFeedback", a highly innovative and wide-reaching social media campaign to fight hunger.
WFP’s campaign will kick off Oct. 11, in the lead-up to World Food Day, 16 October. It encourages people on-line to use the Feedback calculator to turn their favourite food into a donation to feed the hungry. Through the innovative platform people can easily spread the word by activating their personal networks through popular social sites such as Facebook and Google.
Other critical innovations reaching the hungry include:
- YUM! Brands, which is about to enter its fourth Hunger Relief Campaign, which has to date raised $60 million from its customers for hungry people worldwide. YUM! is offering its own employee base a chance to participate in on-line giving through a special widget developed by WFP.
- Project Laser Beam. WFP has joined with WHO, UNICEF, FAO and a half-dozen international companies in a partnership aimed at reducing malnutrition in Bangladesh and Indonesia. Unilever and Kraft are lead partners in this effort. Find out more
- Vodafone. WFP has partnered with Vodafone to train and ready technology experts for emergencies. The company was able to send 24 telecommunications experts to Haiti within 12 hours of the earthquake in January. These specialists helped restablish communications for the entire humanitarian community.
- WFP’s first private sector partner TNT has supported innumerable emergencies over the years, with cargo planes, warehouses and specialised logistics staff – as well as mobilising its employee base to raise millions of euros for school meals programmes around the world.
- WFP is partnering with DSM to help make its own food products and those of other partner companies more nutritious – even as they help others explore the development of new nutritious food products. DSM on Tuesday received the “World Business Development Award” for its work towards achieving the MDGs in the field of hidden hunger.
“This kind of innovation is opening a world of possibility in combating hunger,” Sheeran said. “Our private sector companies have put us on the cutting edge of hunger solutions.”