UNICEF and WFP launch partnership to unleash youth innovation in food security

a new programme to empower youth innovators in food security and provide them with capacity-building programmes

28 April 2021
food security

AMMAN, 28 April 2021 — The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in partnership with the UN World Food Programme (WFP) launched a new programme to empower youth innovators in food security and provide them with capacity-building programmes in entrepreneurship and innovation to increase their employment opportunities.

The programme will target youth between 18 -26 years old with a demonstrated interest in food security to develop a solid foundation in entrepreneurship and innovation through UNICEF social innovation programme. They will continue their journey with the support of WFP’s innovation programme, gaining food security expert knowledge, industry networking, and further resources to expand their projects. The programme will ensure a stable pathway for youth interested in pursuing innovations within the food security sector, starting from the early stages of idea creation to implementation and scaling.

“In Jordan, 100,000 young people look for work every year, to empower vulnerable young people and create sustainable economic opportunities, UNICEF focuses on helping them identify problems in their own communities and create entrepreneurial and innovative solutions to address them. UNICEF and WFP will employ tools of innovation for sustainable development impact.” said Tanya Chapuisat, Representative, UNICEF Jordan.

“Jordan hosts a vibrant, inspiring startup and innovation ecosystem that fosters novel solutions for food security. WFP aims to support locally rooted innovations that have the potential to address the systemic food security issues facing the country, and advance work towards Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger,” said Alberto Correia Mendes, WFP Representative and Country Director in Jordan.

To help spur youth innovation, the programme began today with an online panel discussion on the role of youth in tackling complex problems like food insecurity, and will follow with capacity building, expert mentorship on food security innovation, training on innovation and entrepreneurship using the UPSHIFT methodology, and access to sector networks. Concluding with 5 seed grants for young innovators to further develop their ventures and ensure access to sustainable sources and mentorship support along their journey.

Jordan faces unique food security challenges due to low agricultural production, water scarcity, climate change and a growing population that is one of the youngest in the world. While the rate of unemployment is high, 50% of youth in Jordan express an interest in starting their own business. This WFP and UNICEF partnership will help transit youth into entrepreneurs and support them in their journey. This partnership also reflects the agencies’ commitment towards the Sustainable Development Goals and a shared strategic direction to employ innovation for development and support the local innovation ecosystem in Jordan.

UNICEF’s social innovation programme has been generously supported by the Government of the Netherlands.

WFP’s innovation programme has been made possible through generous support from Australia and Ireland.

Media contacts

Dima Salameh
Communication Officer


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in Jordan, visit www.unicef.org/jordan.

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