UN aims to end world hunger by 2030 using ShareTheMeal App

The UN’s World Food Programme is getting creative in an effort to feed to the 80 million people who need their help each year. Their recently released app, ShareTheMeal, allows smartphone users to donate much-needed food with a single tap.

Humanitarian aid being delivered to Sierra Leone.

Humanitarian aid being delivered to Sierra Leone. Image by Defence Images / CC BY-SA 2.0

World Food Programme (WFP) resources are under staggering pressure due to the Syrian refugee crisis. Director of innovation and change management at the WFP, Robert Opp, noted the war in Syria had quadrupled the demand for WFP programs, with the estimated need this year projected to be in the region of $7 to $8 billion. The WFP generally receives around $5 billion, leaving them with a $2 to $3 billion shortfall. But there is hope: worldwide there are 20 times as many smartphone users as there are hungry children.

A sack of split peas waiting to be distributed in Mali as part of the World Food Program.

A sack of split peas waiting to be distributed in Mali as part of the World Food Program. Image by DFID - UK Department for International Development / CC BY 2.0

In June 2015, 120,000 smartphone users in Germany, Austria and Switzerland participated in a ShareTheMeal test launch, providing more than 1.7 million meals for schoolchildren in Lesotho, in southern Africa. “The simple act of sharing a meal is how people all over the world come together,” explains WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin. “This digital version of sharing a meal is a tangible way that Generation Zero Hunger can act to end hunger.”

The app gives users the ability to donate any amount from 50 cents up with a single tap. And while 50 cents may not seem like much, it provides a child in need with nutrition for the day through the WFP’s school meals programme. The ShareTheMeal app is just one of the strategies employed by the WFP to help achieve the UN’s goal to end world hunger by 2030. The free app is now available for iOS and Android in app stores worldwide.

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