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MasterCard And WFP Team Up To Deliver “Digital Food”

MasterCard and WFP have announced a global partnership that will use digital innovation to help people around the world break the cycle of hunger and poverty. This game-changing partnership will combine MasterCard’s expertise in electronic payment systems with WFP’s global reach among the world’s hungry.

LONDON -- Food assistance programmes harnessing widespread mobile technology and an 'Integrated Giving' platform that will allow virtually anyone in the world to contribute to WFP’s operations are the central features of the partnership between WFP and MasterCard announced in London on Thursday. 

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

What is digital food?

Digital food programmes harness widespread mobile technology and bank cards to provide food vouchers in countries where even the poorest families have access to these services. Here are three examples:

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 nutritional food on local markets, Roman said. The UN food assistance agency will also be able to develop its online donation mechanism, extending its ability to engage individuals and brands in a "global community working together to solve hunger", she added.

“Digital food”

Where markets are stable, WFP often 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. 

Ann Cairns, President of International Markets at MasterCard said:  “This partnership joins MasterCard, a global leader in technology and payments, and the World Food Programme, a global leader in food assistance, to launch a global initiative with a strong local presence.  Our vision of a world beyond cash perfectly complements WFP’s vision of a world beyond hunger and our Digital Food initiative will go on to meet the needs of those who need it most.”

Integrated giving

Alongside the 'Digital Food' project, MasterCard will also help WFP to create an online 'Integrated Giving' platform to enable donations to WFP. This new web-based infrastructure will enable more people to donate through a wider variety of online payment portals, expanding the range and variety of ways through which people can support WFP’s work on the frontlines of hunger.  

This platform will be instrumental in allowing WFP to expand and develop its potential markets and pool of online donors.

In addition to making donating even more convenient for individuals, the 'Integrated Giving' platform will allow brands to integrate donation mechanisms onto their products.

Retailers can offer donations at checkout so customers can donate to WFP without having to leave the site. In addition, mobile applications or game developers will be able to offer options to support WFP right from within their applications or game. 

All donations will be tracked and credited to both the brand and the consumer, offering new opportunities for consumers and brands to work together and have a meaningful, measurable impact on the fight against hunger.

Moreover, MasterCard has committed to use its marketing and brand capacity to help raise awareness and funds for WFP in several key markets. MasterCard has already carried out two fundraising campaigns for WFP, in Poland and in the Netherlands, raising tens of thousands of Euros for WFP’s operations around the world.