Friday, September 21, 2012

MasterCard and UN WFP partners to deliver “digital food”

Omokehinde Ojomuyide
 Country Manager,  Mastercard Nigeria
MasterCard and the World Food Programme (WFP) recently announced a global partnership that will use digital innovation to help people around the world to break the cycle of hunger and poverty.

The game-changing partnership would 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.

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

Roman noted that they are drawing on MasterCard’s technical know-how and international reach to 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.

WFP distributes vouchers that are redeemable in local shops for food and other staple items where markets are stable. 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 would 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.

President of International Markets, MasterCard, Ann Cairns, said:  “MasterCard’s vision of a world beyond cash is the perfect partner for WFP’s vision of a world beyond hunger.  Today 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 will help WFP to create an enhanced online donation mechanism that will enable more people to donate through a wider variety of online payment methods.

This enhanced online donation mechanism is part of an “Integrated Giving” platform that 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.