WFP-backed challenge strengthens food system in Rwanda and beyond

The purpose of a UN-backed programme inaugurated in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, on Wednesday is to support food system improvements. 

Food insecurity in East Africa is escalating as a result of rising violence, climate change, natural disasters, and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Technical assistance as well as a total of $300,000 in funding will be provided to assist start-ups, cooperatives, and small and medium enterprises in scaling up locally-driven solutions that contribute to the economy and fill various gaps in supplying nutritious food. 

The programme is a collaboration between the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and Impact Hub Kigali, which provides resources such as incubation programmes and bootcamps to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship. 

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), notably its Bureau of Humanitarian Affairs, and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs is supporting the partners. 

The effort, which will be implemented simultaneously in Rwanda, South Sudan, and Uganda, is made possible by a $2 million grant from USAID. 

The IGNITE Food Systems Challenge is looking for creative food security solutions in areas including shock and stress resilience, access to safe and nutritious food, enhanced food supply chains, smallholder farmer empowerment, and the advancement of food security for all. 

The deadline for applications is February 4th. 

Those chosen will receive a $50,000 award and six months of “acceleration support,” which will include connections to experts, mentors, and partners, as well as other assistance to close business gaps. 

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