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The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has struck a deal with Chinese tech giant Alibaba to use its technology to help speed up plans around ending world hunger by 2030, under the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Two.

Much like Alibaba’s agreement with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Alibaba’s involvement will be around the digital transformation of the organisation, using its cloud technology as the foundation.

The first step in the agreement will see Alibaba using this technology to create a World Hunger Map”, which will look at how much global hunger there is, as well as looking at ways the efficiency of the operations can be improved.

The map will use data to see where emergency response times could be shortened and assessment time reduced. As the project develops, a newly created Digital Transformation Working Group, comprised of members from both sides, will continue to look at priorities and look at new areas.

WFP’s executive director, David Beasley, said, “We now have a great ally in the fight against hunger. The support and expertise of the Alibaba Group - including their cloud computing, advanced data analytics 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.”

It isn’t the first time the organisations have worked together, as Alibaba worked with WFP in 2017, 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. Alibaba, also in 2017, set up the Alibaba Poverty Relief Program in December 2017, aiming to invest RMB10 billion in alleviating poverty.

Alibaba Partner and Chairman of the Alibaba Foundation, Sun Lijun, said, “Alleviating global poverty and fighting hunger is the shared vision of Alibaba and WFP. 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.”