Time to greet the new year with some fresh ideas to help tackle some of the world’s oldest problems. The year 2020 was a tough one for many of us. Hunger was (and still is) on the rise, and the impacts of COVID-19, conflict and climate change have placed 265 million people in low- and middle-income countries under severe food insecurity.
The first WFP Innovation Challenge for 2021 is conducted in partnership with our Colombia Country Office. We’re looking for solutions to address global hunger-related problems as well as those relevant to the Latin America and Caribbean region, which has faced some of the toughest challenges in 2020 including a migrant crisis, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and national disasters such as hurricanes which all severely impacted the food and nutrition security of million of vulnerable people in South America.
We’re interested in sourcing innovations in areas such as nutrition and food security; smallholder farmers and food systems; disaster preparedness and emergency response; and many more.
Application Deadline: 7 February 2021
This WFP innovation challenge is especially interested in innovations and proposals that recognize the importance of diversity and equality in projects led by women and/or ensuring diversity in team composition. We're looking for solutions specifically aimed at empowering women, vulnerable communities, indigenous populations and ethnic groups.
What’s at stake
Winning teams from all over the world will be invited to join the virtual WFP Innovation Bootcamp on 17-21 May 2021 (with a pitch event on 27 May) and may be eligible for US$100,000 in equity-free funding, hands-on support, and access to a global network of innovation experts.
Innovations making impact
We are supporting, for example, initiatives that leverage modern technologies and digital solutions such as Producer' sDirect, a tool powered by blockchain technology that works to create dynamic digital cooperatives in Peru. The tool is aimed specifically at female smallholders and youth— marginalised groups who have limited profiles in global food value chains.
Female smallholder farmers in Peru do not have equal access to structured food value chains, and are forced to sell their crops for less than it costs to produce them, furthering the cycle of poverty, food insecurity and disempowerment. Photo: WFP.
Other projects we’re supporting offer more affordable technical solutions such as Groasi s, a project being implemented in Colombia and Algeria which uses simple boxes to grow trees and vegetables using considerably less water, making farming possible in dry areas.
The Growboxx, Groasis's patented Ecological Water Saving technology. Photo: WFP.
Applications can be submitted until 7 February at 11:59 pm (CET). Only English applications will be accepted.
The WFP Innovation Accelerator
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.