ROME: The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is working with Uber Technologies Inc, a global mobility and delivery platform, to transport emergency assistance to people in need in urban areas across Ukraine through the use of a custom-built version of Uber’s platform.

With larger vehicles facing issues reaching those in need in built-up areas, collaboration with Uber allows the U.N. World Food Programme to better coordinate, dispatch and track a fleet of smaller vehicles delivering relief items from warehouses to people in need in densely populated areas of Ukraine.

Through this platform, the U.N. World Food Programme can get its food closer to those people needing its support, dispatching deliveries in various sizes of vehicle, tracking each trip to its destination and confirming deliveries have been made safely.

Through this collaboration, the U.N. World Food Programme has already delivered food from its warehouse in Dnipro to other parts of the city, ready for distribution. Further deliveries are also ongoing in other parts of the country, including Lviv, Vinnytsia, Kyiv and Chernivtsi. The progress of deliveries can be tracked in real-time through the platform.

“The U.N. World Food Programme is playing a critical role in providing food and cash assistance to those most affected by the war in Ukraine. This technology helps the U.N. World Food Programme facilitate its response and improves how we serve communities in Ukraine that rely on us,” said Matthew Hollingworth, the U.N. World Food Programme’s emergency coordinator in Ukraine. “It enhances our access to Ukrainian businesses within Uber’s network, making our operations more efficient while also harnessing local capacities.”

“Uber is thrilled to be working with the U.N. World Food Programme to help them more efficiently distribute emergency food relief across Ukraine, by providing free access to a customized version of the Uber platform,” said CEO of Uber Dara Khosrowshahi. “Using our technology, the U.N. World Food Programme can now schedule, dispatch, track and manage deliveries by a network of cars and small vans to final distribution points within a 60 mile radius of U.N. World Food Programme warehouses across the country.”

This work is in addition to a $250,000 donation made by Uber to World Food Program USA to support the emergency response in Ukraine. “We thank Uber for helping us deliver critical humanitarian assistance in Ukraine. Private sector collaborations like this are critical in helping us deploy innovative, custom solutions to address complex challenges,” said President and CEO of World Food Program USA Barron Segar.

The U.N. World Food Programme has rapidly scaled up its operations in and around Ukraine over the past three months. By the end of June, the U.N. World Food Programme will be providing food and cash to more than 3 million people per month in the country.

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About WFP: The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

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ROME – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is today calling for the re-opening of the ports in the Odessa area of southern Ukraine so that food being produced in the war-torn country can flow freely to the rest of the world, before the current global hunger crisis spins out of control

“Right now, Ukraine’s grain silos are full. At the same time, 44 million people around the world are marching towards starvation. We have to open up these ports so that food can move in and out of Ukraine. The world demands it because hundreds of millions of people globally depend on these supplies,” U.N. World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley said. “We’re running out of time and the cost of inaction will be higher than anyone can imagine. I urge all parties involved to allow this food to get out of Ukraine to where it’s desperately needed so we can avert the looming threat of famine.”

With ports blocked because of the war, millions of metric tons of grain are sitting in silos in Odessa and other Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea. More grain is stranded on ships unable to move because of the conflict.

Unless the ports are reopened, Ukrainian farmers will have nowhere to store the next harvest in July/August. The result will be mountains of grain going to waste while the U.N. World Food Programme and the world struggle to deal with an already catastrophic global hunger crisis.

The U.N. World Food Programme’s analysis found that 276 million people worldwide were already facing acute hunger at the start of 2022. That number is expected to rise by 47 million people if the conflict in Ukraine continues, with the steepest rises in sub-Saharan Africa.

Before the war, most of the food produced by Ukraine – enough to feed 400 million people – was exported through the country’s seven Black Sea ports. In the eight months before the conflict began, close to 51 million metric tons of grain transited through the ports.

The disruption caused by the war has already pushed prices on food commodity markets well above the record highs reached earlier this year. In the month after the crisis started, export prices for wheat and maize rose by 22% and 20% respectively, on top of steep rises in 2021 and early 2022.

Food price hikes, coupled with the soaring cost of fuel, are driving up the U.N. World Food Programme’s operational costs by up to $71 million a month, effectively reducing its ability to respond to hunger crises around the world. This is equivalent to the cost of providing almost 4 million people with a daily ration for one month.

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

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CAIRO – As the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins, the soaring cost of food staples in import-dependent Middle Eastern and North African countries is creating ever greater challenges for millions of families already struggling to keep hunger at bay, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said yesterday.

Traditionally a month of festivities, when families gather over traditional foods to break their day-long fast, this year millions will be struggling to buy even the most basic foods for their families as the war in Ukraine has pushed food prices even higher than the troubling levels at the start of the year.

“We are extremely concerned about the millions of people in this region who are already struggling to access enough food because of a toxic combination of conflict, climate change and the economic aftermath of COVID-19,” said Corinne Fleischer, U.N. World Food Programme regional director for the Middle East and North Africa. “People’s resilience is at a breaking point. This crisis is creating shockwaves in the food markets that touch every home in this region. No one is spared.”

The knock-on effect of the Ukraine crisis is adding further strain to the import-dependent region. The prices of wheat flour and vegetable oil – two key staples in the diet of most families – have consequently risen across the region. Cooking oil is up 36% in Yemen and 39% in Syria. Wheat flour is up 47% in Lebanon, 15% in Libya and 14% in Palestine.

Even prior to the conflict in Ukraine, inflation and increasing prices were putting basic food items beyond the reach of the most vulnerable. Food prices reached an all-time high in February 2022, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s Food Price Index.

The cost of a basic food basket – the minimum food needs per family per month – registered an annual increase of 351% in Lebanon, the highest in the region. It was followed by Syria, with a 97% rise, and Yemen with 81% hike. The three countries, all reliant on food imports, also reported sharp currency depreciation. Meanwhile, a drought in Syria has impacted the country’s annual wheat production.

With global prices rising, the U.N. World Food Programme’s meagre resources for operations in the region, especially in Yemen and Syria, will be under even more pressure than before. In both countries, conflict and the related economic shrinkage have left more than 29 million people in need of food assistance. The U.N. World Food Programme is supporting nearly 19 million people in the two countries.

The global food price hikes and the Ukraine conflict have resulted in the U.N. World Food Programme facing an additional cost of $71 million per month for global operations compared to 2019 – a 50% rise.

“The Ukraine crisis makes a bad funding situation worse. There are immediate humanitarian needs that demand attention. Donors have in recent years helped us provide food to millions in the region. Now the situation is critical and it’s time to be even more generous,” added Fleischer.

The U.N. World Food Programme currently has only 24% of the funding it needs in Syria and 31% of what it needs in Yemen. Due to funding constraints, the U.N. World Food Programme has already been forced to reduce food rations in both countries. Further reductions risk pushing people towards starvation.

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
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LVIV – One month into the conflict in Ukraine, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is providing emergency food assistance to 1 million people in the country and has built systems able to deliver food at scale to communities in need. Trucks, trains and mini vans are today delivering food supplies to the most vulnerable people across the country and more convoys are expected in coming days.

Following a massive scale-up of operations, the U.N. World Food Programme has provided 330,000 loaves of freshly baked bread to families in the city of Kharkiv, cash assistance to displaced people in Lviv and ready-to-eat food in various parts of the country. U.N. World Food Programme emergency food supplies have also made it to the conflict areas of Sumy and Kharkiv through two interagency humanitarian convoys. These achievements come despite a volatile security situation, difficulties finding partners on the ground and the challenges of serving a population on the move.

“Just one month ago, we had no presence on the ground, no staff, no network of suppliers or partners. To build an operation from the ground up and get food to 1 million people seemed a monumental challenge,” said Jakob Kern, the U.N. World Food Programme’s emergency coordinator for Ukraine. “Now that the structures are in place, we need the funding to keep delivering assistance, and to help 3 million people in need.”

Over 6.5 million people are displaced inside Ukraine and the pre-conflict supply chain systems for feeding the country’s population have broken down. According to the preliminary findings of a remote assessment by the U.N. World Food Programme, food is among the top three concerns for people inside Ukraine, along with safety and fuel for transportation.

The U.N. World Food Programme estimates that 45% of the population are worried about finding enough to eat. In a country which used to grow food for 400 million people around the world, one person in five now reports having to reduce the size and number of their meals while adults skip meals so their children can eat. Close to 4 million people – mainly women and children – have fled the conflict and become refugees in neighboring countries.

“We’re talking about a catastrophe on top of a catastrophe,” U.N. World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley told the United Nations Security Council in a briefing on Tuesday. “We would have never dreamed anything like this would be possible. And it’s not just decimating Ukraine and the region. It will have a global impact beyond anything we’ve seen since World War II.”

The conflict in Ukraine is triggering a wave of collateral hunger elsewhere in the world. Global food prices have increased sharply since the onset of the conflict – reaching an all-time high in February 2022. These hikes will affect local food prices and further limit access to food for millions of people who are already under stress because of food inflation in their countries.

“The consequences of the conflict are radiating outwards,” said U.N. World Food Programme Regional Director Corinne Fleischer. “Higher prices mean more people around the world will fall into hunger. At the same time, we at the U.N. World Food Programme also have to pay more for the food we buy, so our operations to help those people also take a hit. We need the world to step up at this critical time.”

The U.N. World Food Programme requires $590 million to assist 3.1 million crisis-affected people and IDPs on the move inside Ukraine with in-kind and cash distributions, as well as refugees and asylum seekers from Ukraine in neighboring countries for the next three months.

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

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As the number of refugees fleeing Ukraine approaches 4 million, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) launch the Soccer for Ukraine Emergency Appeal.

GENEVA, LONDON, ROME – Six leading soccer players, three of whom are former refugees, are fronting a joint appeal with UNHCR and the U.N. World Food Programme to raise funds to help refugees who have fled their homes and displaced people inside Ukraine.

The global appeal #football4ukraine comes at a time when almost a quarter of Ukraine’s population – more than 10 million people – have been forced from their homes. Some 3.9 million refugees have been forced to flee the country, making this the fastest-growing refugee crisis since the Second World War. An additional 6.5 million people have been displaced within Ukraine’s borders, and at least 13 million are estimated to be stranded in affected areas or unable to leave due to heightened security risks, destruction of bridges and roads, as well as a lack of resources or information on where to find safety and accommodation.

The appeal includes players from across the Premier League, Bundesliga and Division 1 Féminine accompanied with music by the U.N. World Food Programme’s Goodwill Ambassador, the Weeknd. The three players with a refugee background are UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador and FC Bayern Munich sensation Alphonso Davies, Mahmoud Dahoud (Borussia Dortmund) – the first Syrian refugee to play in the Bundesliga – and Everton FC goalkeeper Asmir Begovic who was forced to flee his home in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They are joined by Manchester City right-back and FIFA Women’s Player of 2020 Lucy Bronze, Olympique Lyonnais’ Ada Hegerberg, the first woman recipient of the Ballon d’Or, and Manchester United’s Juan Mata, a World Cup winner with Spain.

The players, are calling on fans – wherever they are and whatever club they support – to stand together as one team and support people driven from their homes by the war in Ukraine by donating to the appeal.

Alphonso Davies said: “It’s very sad to see the millions of people displaced from around the world due to war. The need for support is growing by the day. This is why this appeal is important, to get urgent aid where it is needed, for everyone.”

“I’m heartbroken by this situation. Millions of people including many children have been forced to flee their homes in Ukraine with no idea of what the future holds or when they will be able to return home. It’s even more shocking to think that this is on top of the more than 84 million people already displaced around the world. I hope our appeal for people displaced in Ukraine will deliver the support they need,” said Lucy Bronze.

The joint appeal brings together UNHCR’s expertise in protecting families forced to flee and the U.N. World Food Programme’s experience in saving lives in conflict zones. To ensure donations have the greatest impact for people affected by the emergency in Ukraine, they will be allocated to the two organizations to provide food, shelter, psychosocial support, financial assistance and other lifesaving aid.

UNHCR and the U.N. World Food Programme are on the ground inside and outside Ukraine working day-and-night to help those who need it most. In Ukraine, UNHCR is working to provide emergency, shelter and cash assistance and critical protection services for those who have fled their homes. UNHCR is also helping coordinate the refugee response across the region, providing critical humanitarian and protection assistance and supporting authorities to increase capacities to receive and host new arrivals.

The U.N. World Food Programme is building a massive operation to provide food for civilians trapped in major cities and assist others impacted by the conflict who have fled to neighboring countries. U.N. World Food Programme teams are also setting up operations and hubs in several locations in neighboring countries to facilitate delivery of humanitarian assistance into Ukraine.

“We are inspired by the response we’ve seen from football fans all over the world, who are showing their support for people affected by the conflict in Ukraine. Our message to everyone, is to remember that no one chooses to become a refugee. Refugees – from Ukraine and beyond – are placed in the most heart-breaking of circumstances, forced to flee for their lives. Each of us can do our bit and unite behind the campaign to extend our support,” said United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi.

“There cannot be a harvest where it’s raining bombs,” said U.N. World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley. “Millions of people in Ukraine are living their worst nightmare and, unless the war stops now, the breadbasket of Europe will be unable to feed itself. With each day of fighting, hunger is tightening its grip not only in Ukraine but also in countries far away from its borders that rely on Ukrainian wheat and grain to keep their poorest citizens alive. This war is a catastrophe for the world.”

In a year of unprecedented humanitarian needs, the crisis in Ukraine is a catastrophe compounding what is already a catastrophic year for the poorest and most vulnerable around the world. While UNHCR and the U.N. World Food Programme scale up to respond to the growing needs of the Ukraine crisis, they continue to deliver in other critical situations such as in Afghanistan, Syria, South Sudan, Yemen and other humanitarian crises around the world, often far away from the spotlight.

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Notes for editors:

The multi-voice video is available on the following link
The soccer players are not available for interviews. For other enquiries about the players’ involvement, please contact UNHCR’s Colin Kampschoer in London, kampscho@unhcr.org or Stephanie Hazelwood, hazelwoo@unhcr.org

About UNHCR:  UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, protects people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. We work in over 130 countries, protecting millions of people by responding with life-saving support, safeguarding fundamental human rights, and helping them build a better future.

About WFP: The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters, and the impact of climate change.

The War in Ukraine Is Triggering a Wave of Collateral Hunger Across the Globe as Food and Fuel Prices Surge

RZESZOW, Poland – As the emergency operation in Ukraine moved into high gear today, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) expressed deep concern about the waning ability of families in embattled areas to find food and also warned that the crisis could have consequences well beyond Ukraine’s borders.

“In a year when the world is already facing an unprecedented level of hunger, it’s just tragic to see hunger raising its head in what has long been the breadbasket of Europe,” said U.N. World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley during a visit to a staging hub set up by the organization on the Polish-Ukrainian border. “The bullets and bombs in Ukraine could take the global hunger crisis to levels beyond anything we’ve seen before.”

With reports coming in of severe shortages of food and water in Kyiv, the capital, and the northeastern city of Kharkiv, U.N. World Food Programme teams are setting up operations and hubs in countries neighboring Ukraine. These will both facilitate delivery of food assistance into the country and assist refugees coming over the borders.

The immediate priority is to establish a food lifeline into Kyiv and other conflict hotspots. With consignments of food assistance arriving every day, the U.N. World Food Programme is in a race against time to pre-position food in areas where fighting is expected to flare. The U.N. World Food Programme is in the process of finding partners in Ukraine to help it distribute assistance and teams in neighbouring countries are identifying local vendors in order to purchase more stock.

Amid a shortage of cash in Ukraine, the U.N. World Food Programme plans to provide assistance through food distributions, cash and food vouchers that can be spent in selected shops. Food distributions will prioritize the big towns on the Ukraine side of the border where families are gathering as they wait to see how the conflict develops. The U.N. World Food Programme also plans to assist refugees who crossed the border to neighbouring countries.

The Russian Federation and Ukraine are responsible for 29% of the global wheat trade. Any serious disruption of production and exports from the region could push food prices beyond their current 10-year highs. This will erode food security for millions of people, especially those who are already under stress because of high levels of food inflation in their countries.

“This is not just a crisis inside Ukraine. This is going to affect supply chains, and particularly the cost of food,” Beasley warned. “Now we’re looking at a price hike that will cost us, in operational costs, anywhere from $60 and $75 million dollars more per month. And that means more people are going to go to bed hungry.”

At the start of 2022, the world is facing an unprecedented hunger challenge, as conflict and climate shocks compounded by COVID-19 and rising costs drive millions of people closer to starvation — threatening to increase migration and instability globally. With the numbers of hungry rising, the U.N. World Food Programme is calling for a step-change in global support for its operations.

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

Follow us on Twitter @WFPUSA and @wfp_media

HUNGER CRISIS

The war in Ukraine is exacerbating hunger worldwide, including in South Sudan where extreme weather, high food prices and violence are driving millions into hunger. We URGENTLY need your support to scale up and send food today.

HUNGER CRISIS

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