Wanted: Startups and innovations tackling the climate crisis and hunger

WFP Innovation Accelerator
4 min readJun 15, 2022


By Gulia Rakhimova

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has always embraced innovation in its efforts to solve global hunger.

That’s why we have now launched the WFP Innovation Challenge 2022, calling for innovative solutions to address the climate crisis. Do you think you have one? This is your opportunity to contribute to a future without hunger. Apply here before 30 June 2022 at 11:59 pm (CEST).

Read on to find out more about this year’s challenge.

Hunger in a world that’s warming up

The climate crisis is one of the biggest problems facing the world today. It is, along with conflict and overall economic instability, the main reason why 811 million people suffer from hunger globally. And 189 million more would go hungry in a world that is warmer by 2°C.

People who have the least resources to cope are frequently the most affected.

In developing countries, extreme weather events have doubled in frequency since the early 1990s. The Sahel region in Africa is warming up 1.5 times faster than the rest of the world. Rapid changes in temperatures threaten food security by hampering crop yield, fishing, and livestock production.

We need to adapt today for a better tomorrow.

Ethiopia, 2022: Pastoralists in the vast lowland region of South Omo have suffered from drought for several months forcing them to travel long distances in search of water. Photo: WFP/Michael Tewelde.

WFP Innovation Challenge 2022

New application deadline: 30 June 2022

WFP works in more than 120 countries and territories and reaches people in the regions most affected by the climate crisis. We help communities plan for climate hazards, restore ecosystems, lower risks, and adopt sustainable energy solutions as part of WFP’s global mission to end hunger.

This year’s WFP Innovation Challenge is calling for startups and innovative approaches that can contribute to these efforts. We are looking for the best possible solutions in the following categories:

  • ANTICIPATE: Pre-positioned finance and preventive action before disasters strike.
  • RESTORE: Nature-based solutions and climate-resilient infrastructure.
  • ENERGIZE: Promoting sustainable energy solutions in schools and communities.
  • PROTECT: Climate risk insurance as safety nets for food-insecure populations.
Bangladesh, 2021: Thousands of people were left fending tidal waters up to 14 feet high as Cyclone Yaas washed away crops and fish. Photo: WFP/Sayed Asif Mahmud.

What is in it for me?

If selected, you will get to participate in the next in-person or virtual WFP Innovation Bootcamp, and have the opportunity to pitch your idea to potential investors and partners.

In addition, you could have the chance to gain hands-on support and up to US $100,000 in equity-free funding to implement your project with WFP and achieve social impact.

We welcome applications from start-ups, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions and government agencies.

By combining the brightest minds and startup approaches with WFP’s operational knowledge, we can accelerate some of the highest-potential solutions to hunger on the planet.

Loreen from Masvingo, Zimbabwe, remembers how her village used to struggle to get water. WFP enabled her community to build a dam, which improved farming activities and the availability of nutritious food. Photo: WFP/Samantha Reinders.

Start your online application now

The WFP Innovation Challenge 2022 is accepting applications between now and 30 June 2022 11:59 pm (CEST).

  • Read the full Call for Applications for more information on our current innovation priorities and the application process.
  • Review our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for tips.
  • Learn how we help innovators go from idea to implementation in humanitarian operations.
  • Explore WFP’s innovation portfolio in the WFP Innovation Accelerator’s 2021 Year In Review for more inspiration.

The WFP Innovation Accelerator sources, supports and scales high-potential solutions to end hunger worldwide. We provide WFP staff, entrepreneurs, start-ups, companies and non-governmental organizations with access to funding, mentorship, hands-on support and WFP operations.

Find out more about us: http://innovation.wfp.org. Subscribe to our e-newsletter. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn and watch our videos on YouTube.



WFP Innovation Accelerator

Sourcing, supporting and scaling high-impact innovations to disrupt hunger.