World Food Programme and UN Capital Development Fund launch new finance initiative to support Zero Hunger
WFP BRIDGE aims to catalyse additional funding for businesses working towards ending hunger in challenging environments and who often struggle to access commercial financing mechanisms. In addition to catalysing investment for impactful innovations, WFP BRIDGE aims to diversify the overall funding pool for businesses and forge new partnerships between WFP and public and private sector partners.
“The current resource shortfall we face at WFP risks millions of additional people slipping into worrying levels of hunger over the next 12 months,” said Bernhard Kowatsch, Head of the WFP Innovation Accelerator. “With humanitarian needs deepening, we hope that WFP BRIDGE and the businesses supported by it will help us close the gap and end the cycle of hunger crisis and response.”
WFP’s current funding shortfall for 2023 stands at a staggering figure of over 60 percent, leading to drastic ration cuts across the globe. With traditional donor funding not meeting operational needs, WFP BRIDGE is a result of WFP’s investment in new and scalable innovative finance solutions that aim to close the funding gap and complement the primary source of funding.
WFP BRIDGE will launch with an initial funding facility, WFP Innovation BRIDGE, focusing on innovations contributing to WFP’s mandate supported by the WFP Innovation Accelerator and other WFP Innovation Units. WFP BRIDGE’s scalable architecture allows WFP to add further focused facilities, transforming how WFP can engage with businesses and funders for more sustainable food systems.
“Delivering the levels of finance necessary to eliminate hunger while ensuring that food systems are truly sustainable requires innovation and collaboration, which speaks precisely to the essence of our partnership,” said Mourad Wahba, Officer-in-Charge of UNCDF. “As the only entity in the UN system that can employ blended finance among other capital finance tools, UNCDF is honoured to complement its investment capabilities with the global scale and inimitable expertise of WFP.”
WFP and UNCDF are calling on partners to help bring WFP BRIDGE to scale in order to support impactful and financially sustainable businesses working in humanitarian and development contexts and contributing to SDG2.
The launch follows the formation of the strategic partnership on 1 July 2022, between WFP and UNCDF aimed at strengthening cooperation in food systems and innovative financing.
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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
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The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) is the United Nations' flagship catalytic financing entity for the world’s 46 Least Developed Countries (LDCs). With its unique capital mandate and focus on the LDCs, UNCDF works to invest and catalyse capital to support these countries in achieving the sustainable growth and inclusiveness envisioned by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Doha Programme of Action for the least developed countries, 2022–2031.
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