The United Nations estimates that a staggering 339 million people will need humanitarian assistance and protection in 2023. In order to find new, efficient ways of meeting humanitarian needs, the World Food Programme (WFP) has launched the Humanitarian Innovation Accelerator, which is powered by the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and the Austrian Development Agency. Its aim is to pilot the development and scaling up of innovative solutions to solve emergency and humanitarian challenges faced by vulnerable populations and humanitarian players.

Promising humanitarian innovation solutions

A call for projects targeting innovative entrepreneurs all over the world was launched in February 2023. The call focused in particular on humanitarian innovation solutions from the following sectors:

  • artificial intelligence
  • space
  • healthtech
  • supply chain and logistics
  • data sciences

Over 350 applications were received. 16 ventures with the most promising solutions were invited to an Innovation Bootcamp, followed by an onsite pitching session in Luxembourg on 29 June. As part of the programme, the teams will have the opportunity to apply to the WPF Sprint Programme, a 6 to 12-month acceleration programme giving access to the WFP Innovation Accelerator, mentorship, a global network of stakeholders in the humanitarian space and equity-free funding for the implementation of a proposed growth plan.

Live pitching from Luxembourg

The shortlisted applicants will pitch in front of potential funders, government officials and industry leaders at an event co-organised with Luxinnovation, Luxembourg’s national innovation agency. Luxembourg Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs Franz Fayot will join the event together with other key humanitarian players, donors and leaders in the private sector.