WFP, MasterCard partner to deliver “digital food”

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) and MasterCard have partnered to use digital innovation to help people around the world to break the cycle of hunger and poverty.

The initiative is known as the ‘Digital Food Project’.

The partnership, which was announced September 13, 2012, will combine MasterCard’s expertise in electronic payments systems with WFP’s global reach among the world’s hungriest populations to meet the nutritional needs of the most vulnerable.

The WFP, often in stable markets, distributes vouchers that are redeemable in local shops for food and other staple items. These vouchers help boost local economies while allowing poor communities to receive food assistance with dignity.

Through the “Digital Food Project,” MasterCard’s payment and technology expertise will help WFP to refine and improve its systems that deliver food vouchers via mobile phones or banking cards to people without regular access to banks or financial services, the UN agency said in a statement.

Nancy Roman, WFP Director of Communications, Public Policy and Private Partnerships believes that “by drawing on MasterCard’s technical know-how and international reach, WFP will further develop both its electronic voucher programme that enables hungry families around the globe to buy nutritious food in local markets as well as its online donation mechanism that engages individuals and brands in a global community working together to solve hunger.”

Ann Cairns, President of International Markets, MasterCard, said “…we have committed to delivering a ground breaking partnership, which will ensure our Digital Food initiative will go on to meet the requirements of those who need it most around the world.”

Alongside the “Digital Food” project, MasterCard is also to help WFP to create an enhanced online donation mechanism that will enable more people to donate through a wider variety of online payment methods.

By Ekow Quandzie

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