World Food Program USA Announces March 16th Event at South by Southwest®

Photo: WFP/Alexis Masciarelli
Published February 22, 2022

“The $7 Billion F-Word” examines innovation’s role in saving 45 million people from the brink of famine

Washington, DC (February 22, 2022) – On March 16th at 10am CT, World Food Program USA will host a live panel session, “The $7 Billion F-Word,” at South by Southwest® to examine the role of technology and innovation in combating global hunger. Moderated by journalist Femi Oke, the panel will feature Bernhard Kowatsch, Head of the United Nations World Food Programme’s Innovation Accelerator; author of I Am a Girl from Africa, humanitarian and U.N. World Food Programme Special Advisor, Elizabeth Nyamayaro; and Skye Fitzgerald, director of Oscar-nominated documentary, Hunger Ward.

“As hunger crises become more complex, cutting-edge innovation and technology are essential to not only saving lives from hunger, but also building the long-term resilience of those we serve,” said Barron Segar, President and CEO at World Food Program USA. “We are looking forward to bringing this critical issue to the forefront at SXSW, and hope to inspire and engage more Americans to support our efforts to eradicate hunger.”

The global hunger crisis —fueled by conflict, COVID-19, the climate crisis, and rising costs— has created unprecedented need with more than 45 million people on the edge of starvation and more than 280 million people facing severe hunger. While the global needs for humanitarian assistance are higher than ever, funding is chronically insufficient to meet the unprecedented demands. Our panelists will examine this issue and how the U.N. World Food Programme’s innovations in mobile technology, artificial intelligence, and blockchain are transforming how we save lives and fight famine.

Since launching in 2015, the U.N. World Food Programme’s Innovation Accelerator—recent Anthem Award Gold Winner— has supported more than 100 projects across 69 countries, with 16 innovations scaling up to improve life for nearly 9 million people.

For details on the “The $7 Billion F-Word” session, click here; to register for SXSW, visit

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About the United Nations World Food Programme 

The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.  We are 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.

About World Food Program USA 

World Food Program USA, a 501(c)(3) organization based in Washington, DC, proudly supports the mission of the United Nations World Food Programme by mobilizing American policymakers, businesses and individuals to advance the global movement to end hunger. Our leadership and staff help to bolster an enduring American legacy of feeding families in need around the world. To learn more about World Food Program USA’s mission, please visit

Media Contact:

Toula Athas, World Food Program USA,