UN World Food Programme Innovation Accelerator and the Global Blockchain Business Council Launch Initiative to Combat Global Hunger Using Blockchain Technology
The United Nations (UN) World Food Programme (WFP) Innovation Accelerator and Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding as founding members for their joint initiative, Food for Crisis. First conceived at GBBC’s Blockchain Central alongside the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2022, Food for Crisis aims to raise, track, and trace donor funds, utilizing Web3 technologies to drive innovation to address the worsening global hunger crisis. By leveraging the power of blockchain technology to improve the delivery of humanitarian support, Food for Crisis will support a more sustainable future through innovation.
Communities across the world have been devastated by the global food crisis due to the combined effects of ongoing conflicts, economic shocks, climate extremes, contributing to the disruption of supply chains and soaring fertilizer prices. According to the new 2023 State of Food Security (SOFI) report, as many as 783 million people faced hunger in 2022, which is about 122 million more people than in 2019, before the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Food for Crisis aims to increase awareness of the global food crisis and raise funds to urgently mobilize resources to end hunger at scale. Funds will be distributed to the humanitarian sector for emergency relief operations and the development of innovative and sustainable solutions to help disrupt global hunger.
Sandra Ro, CEO, GBBC says, “It is a great honor and privilege for GBBC to partner with Nobel Peace Prize winner, WFP on Food for Crisis. We believe technology tools including blockchain and digital assets can be utilized to serve the most vulnerable people and accelerate solutions to some of humanity’s most pressing and large-scale problems: acute hunger and malnutrition. We can achieve SDG 2, Zero Hunger, together.”
GBBC is working with key organizations to support the initiative, including Accenture, Bayer, BTG Pactual, Filecoin Foundation, Fleming Petenko Law LLC, Netlight, Oliver Wyman, and Steptoe & Johnson LLP. A pilot fund of USD 100 million in donations (in fiat, crypto, or donations in-kind) is the initial goal, with a moonshot target of USD 1 billion. Funds will initially only be disbursed using fiat money, such as USD, trackable on a blockchain system. As Food for Crisis matures, other funding options will be evaluated and potentially introduced.
The WFP Innovation Accelerator and GBBC Giving, GBBC’s c3 charitable arm, are working together with the supporting organizations within Food for Crisis to develop a blockchain-based solution to provide an additional level of trust and transparency regarding funds donated for humanitarian aid. The blockchain-based emergency relief platform will start by receiving donations from institutional donors and channeling them to humanitarian organizations or startups. The technology will continue to be developed, with a pilot planned for 2024, in countries currently facing severe food insecurity in need of intensive support amid limited funding.
Bernhard Kowatsch, Head of WFP Innovation Accelerator says, “345 million people are acutely hungry and do not know where their next meal will come from. I believe that innovative solutions, like Food for Crisis, can attract more donors by raising awareness about hunger, ensuring efficiency and transparent results while empowering individuals with choices. WFP already uses blockchain to enhance collaboration, efficiency, and transparency on cash transfers, digitize smallholder farmer transactions, and provide insurance to farmers. The Food for Crisis initiative seeks to harness this technology for both immediate emergency relief and sustainable innovative solutions.”
For more information and to learn how to get involved, visit www.gbbcouncil.org/initiatives/giving.