WFP BRIDGE, a newly launched funding mechanism, is now ready for capital from public and private investors interested in supporting SDG 2 – zero hunger.
WFP BRIDGE was created by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), following the formation of a partnership between the two in July 2022.
WFP and UNCDF are now looking partners and investors to bring WFP BRIDGE to scale in order to support impactful and financially sustainable businesses working in humanitarian and development contexts and contributing to SDG 2 – zero hunger.
WFP’s current funding shortfall for 2023 stands at over 60%, leading to drastic ration cuts across the globe. With traditional donor funding not meeting operational needs, WFP BRIDGE is a result of WFP’s investment in new and scalable innovative finance solutions that aim to close the funding gap, and complement the primary source of funding.
WFP BRIDGE aims to catalyse additional funding for businesses working towards ending hunger in challenging environments and that often struggle to access commercial financing mechanisms.
In addition to catalysing investment for impactful innovations, the funding tool aims to diversify the overall funding pool for businesses and forge new partnerships between WFP and public and private sector partners.
Bernhard Kowatsch, head of the WFP Innovation Accelerator said: “The current resource shortfall we face at WFP risks millions of additional people slipping into worrying levels of hunger over the next 12 months. With humanitarian needs deepening, we hope that WFP BRIDGE and the businesses supported by it will help us close the gap and end the cycle of hunger crisis and response.”
WFP BRIDGE is being launched with an initial funding facility, WFP Innovation BRIDGE, focusing on innovations contributing to WFP’s mandate supported by the WFP Innovation Accelerator and other WFP Innovation Units. The funding tool’s scalable architecture allows WFP to add further focused facilities, transforming how WFP can engage with businesses and funders for more sustainable food systems.
Mourad Wahba, officer-in-charge of UNCDF, said: “Delivering the levels of finance necessary to eliminate hunger while ensuring that food systems are truly sustainable requires innovation and collaboration, which speaks precisely to the essence of our partnership. As the only entity in the UN system that can employ blended finance among other capital finance tools, UNCDF is honoured to complement its investment capabilities with the global scale and inimitable expertise of WFP.”