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Fighting hunger around the world

The World Food Programme is the food assistance branch of the United Nations. It is also the world’s largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security.


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The MVAM tool has saved over US$5 million and reduced survey collection time by 75%

Making a real difference

The World Food Programme delivers assistance in emergencies and works with communities around the world to improve nutrition and build resilience. 

In 2015 alone, the World Food Programme provided:

  • Food aid to nearly 80 million people in 80 countries
  • Assistance to more than 50 million people in emergencies
  • Nutritional support to 7.6 million children

Using technology to reach more people

In 2014, Cisco supported the World Food Programme’s mobile Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (mVAM) project. Cisco helped pilot the use of SMS and interactive voice response (IVR) technology.

This enabled humanitarian aid workers to communicate with vulnerable people remotely, rapidly, and affordably. The mVAM program:

  • Uses mobile technology to collect data on food prices and availability, so users can track food security trends in real-time
  • Provides up-to-date information to inform food distribution programs and to support decision-making about humanitarian aid
  • Has scaled to over 30 countries since its pilot

Using chatbots to beat hunger

Cisco has continued working with the World Food Programme to pilot the use of chatbots in its mVAM program.

This technology will strengthen the organization’s ability to provide aid safely and to the people who need it most. Chatbots:

  • Are easier to scale than other technologies and offer more capabilities at a lower cost
  • Allow different types of information (such as photos, voice notes, and geolocations) to be easily collected and applied to food security analysis
  • Will likely become one of the most widely-used communication tools, given the increasing smart phone penetration.

We are receiving information in near real-time, and for a humanitarian agency, that helps us save lives.

Jean-Martin Bauer, Senior Food Security Analyst

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