Uber and the United Nations join forces to deliver food in war-torn Ukraine
The war in Ukraine has crippled global supply chains, limiting the country’s ability to export vital natural resources like silver and import essential supplies like food.
To combat growing food insecurity in war-torn Ukraine, the United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP) has turned to an unlikely source.
This week, the WFP issued a joint statement with mobility and delivery powerhouse Uber (NYSE: UBER), announcing that the tech company is lending a bespoke version of its platform to the agency for transporting food in hard-to-reach urban areas. Ukraine, including Dnipro, Lviv and Kyiv.
Uber will provide WFP with a modified version of its Uber Direct platform used by big names like Apple. Typically, Uber charges a commission for each delivery made with the service, but WFP will have free access.
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“This technology helps WFP facilitate its response and improves how we serve the communities in Ukraine who rely on us,” said Matthew Hollingworth, WFP Ukraine Emergency Coordinator. “This improves our access to Ukrainian businesses within Uber’s network, making our operations more efficient while leveraging local capabilities.”
In urban areas, larger vehicles have had problems delivering relief, which is where Uber comes in. WFP has already selected a fleet of smaller vehicles and drivers and used the platform Modified Uber to coordinate shipments from its warehouse in Dnipro to the rest of the city. Up to a range of approximately 62 miles, PAM can also track drivers and deliveries in real time.
According to Uber and WFP, emergency food deliveries are also taking place outside Dnipro in the cities of Kyiv, Vinnytsia, Lviv and Chernivtsi. Additionally, Uber donated $250,000 to the U.S. World Food Program to help support the emergency response.
“Uber is delighted to work with WFP to help them distribute emergency food aid more efficiently across Ukraine by providing free access to a customized version of the Uber platform,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber. ‘Uber. “Using our technology, WFP can now plan, dispatch, track and manage deliveries through a network of cars and small vans to final distribution points within a 100-mile radius. [kilometer] radius of WFP warehouses across the country.
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Quietly, Uber has been helping Ukraine since the very beginning of the conflict. In March, the platform announced several initiatives, including unlimited free travel between the Ukrainian border and Polish cities, an in-app donation button, and the transport of 60 tons of food and essential supplies from Romania, in collaboration with the International Red Cross.
Uber also decided to suspend ride-sharing operations in March, resuming some operations in April. All Ukrainian drivers have received advances and the company said it is exploring ways to help refugees outside the country find work on the platform.
Now, it could make the difference in WFP’s mission to provide food and cash to around 3 million people a month by the end of June.
“We thank Uber for helping us provide essential humanitarian assistance in Ukraine,” said Barron Segar, president and CEO of the World Food Program in the United States. “Collaborations with the private sector like this are essential to help us deploy innovative and customized solutions to address complex challenges.”
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