UN agency partners with MasterCard to help improve food delivery around the world

13 September 2012

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today announced a new global partnership with the banking and financial services corporation MasterCard, aimed at improving food delivery to poor communities around the world and facilitating online donations to the agency.

“Our partnership with MasterCard is a great example of how transformative private sector partnerships innovate against hunger,” said WFP’s Director of Communications, Public Policy and Private Partnerships, Nancy Roman, said in a news release.

WFP often distributes vouchers that are redeemable in local shops for food and other staple items, helping to boost local economies. Through the ‘Digital Food Project,’ MasterCard will use its technological expertise in electronic payment systems to help WFP improve its food delivery systems so vouchers can be redeemed via mobile phones or banking cards by people without regular access to banks or financial services.

MasterCard will also help WFP create an enhanced online donation mechanism that will allow more people to donate funds through a wider variety of online payment methods. The mechanism, which is part of a so-called ‘Integrated Giving’ platform, will allow retailers to offer WFP donations at checkout to online customers without their having to leave a given site.

In addition, mobile applications or game developers will be able to offer options to support WFP from within their applications, and all donations will be tracked and credited to both the brand and the consumer.

“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,” Ms. Romano said.

In the news release, WFP added said MasterCard has also committed to using its marketing and brand capacity to help raise awareness and funds for WFP in several key markets. The company has already carried out two fundraising campaigns for WFP – in Poland and the Netherlands – raising tens of thousands of euros for the agency’s operations around the world.

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