WFP wins Four Anthem Awards!

The UN World Food Programme Innovation Accelerator earns four prestigious accolades in the 2022 Anthem Awards

WFP Innovation Accelerator
4 min readFeb 15, 2023

By Sanjna Sudan

The WFP Innovation Accelerator has been announced as the winner of four Anthem Awards for its 2022 edition. Established by The Webby Awards in 2021, the Anthem Awards recognises and amplifies purpose and mission-driven work from people, companies and organizations worldwide.

The work of the WFP Innovation Accelerator and its team members has been recognised for innovative, interesting and effective contributions and leadership across the humanitarian sector. Within the ‘Humanitarian Action & Services Cause’ category, the WFP Innovation Accelerator was recognised with four well-earned Silver Anthem Awards.

1. WFP Innovation Accelerator X Humanitarian Grand Challenge Partnership

Humanitarian Action & Services: Product, Innovation, or Service Categories — Partnership or Collaboration

The WFP Innovation Accelerator’s work with external collaborators was recognised as the co-created acceleration programme with ‘Creating Hope in Conflict: A Humanitarian Grand Challenge’ (HGC) earned a Silver Anthem Award for ‘Partnership or Collaboration’. This programme aims to find and accelerate life-saving or life-improving innovations to help the most vulnerable and hardest-to-reach people impacted by humanitarian crises caused by conflict.

With support from the WFP Innovation Accelerator and Brink, the HGC programme provides innovators with access to financial capital, a network of technical experts, potential investors, capacity strengthening resources, and foster collaboration and learning within the community to improve humanitarian aid.

The HGC programme was initiated as a partnership of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, and Global Affairs Canada, with support from Grand Challenges Canada.

2. WFP Innovation Accelerator X Annapurti Grain ATM

Humanitarian Action & Services: Product, Innovation, or Service Categories — Innovation

WFP’s Innovation Accelerator and WFP India Country Office produced “Annapurti,” (Hindi for ‘fulfiller of food’) a Grain ATM, that has been recognized with a Silver Anthem Award for ‘Innovation’.

Annapurti Grain ATM is a multi-commodity dispensing machine that provides an efficient way to receive subsidized food grains. The automated machine provides beneficiaries of the government’s food assistance programme with access to accurate food rations once the person is biometrically verified.

At present, GrainATM caters to 240,000 people (from 60 machines) in need per month.

3. Non Profit Leader of the Year — Bernhard Kowatsch

Humanitarian Action & Services: Team & Workplace Initiatives — Nonprofit Leader of the Year

Head of the United Nations World Food Programme Innovation Accelerator, Bernhard Kowatsch, received the Silver Anthem Award for Non Profit Leader of the Year.

Bernhard founded the Innovation Accelerator in 2015 and has led the team for the past seven years to work closely with governments, other WFP teams, UN agencies and the private sector to push forward social innovation. He also works tirelessly to promote innovation and technology as key drivers of change and facilitators of solutions to end world hunger. His recent TED Talk ‘How innovation and technology can fight global hunger’ has over 1.6 millions views across multiple platforms.

Under Bernhard’s leadership, WFP also has an award-winning ‘Share The Meal’ app that is providing millions of meals to save lives. Bernhard co-founded this app that crowdsources funding for WFP and has delivered over 170 million meals for hungry children worldwide.

4. Non Profit Leader of the Year — Hila Cohen

Humanitarian Action & Services: Team & Workplace Initiatives — Nonprofit Leader of the Year

WFP Innovation Accelerator’s Head of Business Development and the Chief of Staff, Hila Cohen, received the Silver Anthem Award for Non Profit Leader of the Year.

As one of WFP Innovation Accelertor’s founding team members, she connects the Accelerator with global innovation networks, companies, governmental bodies and other UN agencies to push the Accelerators’ work towards achieving Zero Hunger. Hila utilizes her extensive background in private sector innovation, law and start-up ecosystems in combination with her experience in WFP operations.

Hila’s work as Chief of Staff has also been instrumental in growing and developing a diverse Innovation Accelerator team. As of 2022, this team is now over 80, and includes a broad mix of people with a multitude of expertise, including: deep field humanitarian aid workers, business analysts, start-up entrepreneurs, product design and human centered design consultants, communications, marketing and technological experts, including blockchain, artificial intelligence and innovative finance specialists. Hila is also passionate about gender equality, and has helped bring about a 67% female team (including majority in leadership roles). Additional diversity is also seen with 45 nationalities represented and 23 languages spoken at the Accelerator.



WFP Innovation Accelerator

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