Celo joins the World Food Programme Innovation Accelerator

The Celo team wrapping up day one of the Accelerator in Munich

Celo was chosen from a pool of 800 applicants to bring blockchain-based cash transfer solutions to fight world hunger.

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is working to eradicate hunger and malnutrition by 2030 for the 821 million people undernourished around the world. WFP assistance is increasingly being provided in the form of cash transfers (instead of delivering food), which will reach about 1.6 billion USD in 2018. WFP believes that the fight against hunger is not necessarily in building grand plans, but identifying and testing solutions in an agile way. Launched in 2016, the WFP Innovation Accelerator in Munich, Germany identifies, supports and scales high-potential solutions to hunger worldwide.

In many situations, it is more efficient and effective to deliver cash transfers rather than providing food aid. Additionally, cash transfers, often in the form of basic income guarantees, empower those in vulnerable situations to make decisions about their lives, create more inclusive and effective safety nets, and result in improved financial resilience, ultimately reducing the risk of hunger.

“Celo is one of the participating teams which we choose on the basis of the impact their idea or innovation can have for the hungry poor. During those five days, innovation and humanitarian experts will work with start-ups and WFP innovators to deep dive into the field level challenges, refine solutions, and finalize project plans” said Bernhard Kowatsch, Head of WFP’s Innovation Accelerator.

Celo is one of four external startups selected for the WFP Innovation Accelerator’s November bootcamp in Munich. WFP extended an invitation to Celo because of Celo’s technological approach to financial inclusion and the team’s expertise in delivering digital assets in underserved markets. This week, Celo will be researching, designing, iterating, and prototyping solutions for blockchain-based cash transfers, starting in East Africa.

Will Le, Celo’s Go-to-Market Lead, shared in a statement, “We are extremely excited to be working with an organization as committed to innovation and impact as the World Food Programme. WFP has the largest cash transfer program among international humanitarian organizations. We hope that our work with WFP will push the boundaries of possibility in the development sector and serve as a model for delivering aid to billions around the world.”

About Celo

Celo is building, and contributing to, a Platform and Protocol to foster a more connected society. Our goal is to positively impact the livelihood of billions of people around the world who today are involuntarily detached from the global financial system. In addition to financial inclusion, we believe there is an opportunity to create a more beneficial version of today’s money for everyone. You may request Celo’s whitepaper by emailing whitepaper@celo.org.

If you or your organization is interested in learning more about Celo and potential partnerships, please send an email to partner@celo.org.