The United Nations World Food Programme and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group have formed a strategic partnership to support efforts eliminate hunger globally by 2030 WFP said on Monday.
WFP’s Executive Director, David Beasley, and Alibaba Partner and Chairman of the Alibaba Foundation, Sun Lijun, signed the agreement at Alibaba’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China.
Under the accord, Alibaba will lend its cutting-edge technology and resources to support the digital transformation of WFP’s operations. In particular, Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba, will work with WFP to develop a digital “World Hunger Map”.
The map will monitor global hunger and operations to end the scourge by 2030 – one of the UN’s key Sustainable Development goals – and aims to boost the efficiency of interventions and shorten emergency response times.
“Alleviating global poverty and fighting hunger is the shared vision of Alibaba and WFP,” said Sun.
“We look forward to joining the global campaign of fighting hunger using our innovative technologies in data intelligence and cloud computing, as well as sharing our experience in China and worldwide.”
Beasley lauded the strategic partnership as a milestone in the relationship between WFP and China’s private sector.
“We now have a great ally in the fight against hunger,” he said.
“The support and expertise of the Alibaba Group – including their cloud computing, advanced data analytic capabilities, and online platforms – will help WFP become even more efficient and effective in its work to reverse the trend of rising hunger around the world.”
Alibaba established the Alibaba Poverty Relief Programme in December 2017, aiming to invest 10 billion Chinese Yuan (over 1.4 billion dollars) in five years to alleviate poverty with focuses on education, rural commerce advancement, empowering women, healthcare and environmental sustainability.
In August, 2017, Alibaba worked with WFP on a poverty alleviation project by connecting small farmers in Anhui, a province in Eastern China, directly with the market to obtain better prices for agricultural produce.