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Davos and the Power of the Private Sector

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The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, is a reminder that the private sector has the power to help shape the future of the world for the better. One of the ways this can happen is through public-private partnerships, an area in which WFP has led the way in recent years.

ROME -- Political and business leaders converge on the Swiss resort of Davos this week for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, an event which seeks to focus the minds of the global elite on the big questions facing the world.

This year, immediate economic problems such as the euro crisis will feature high on the agenda at Davos. Yet the intended scope of the WEF gathering is much wider and involves defining how we think the world should look in the future.

This wider goal is the reason WFP goes to Davos every year, reminding participants that global hunger is the world's greatest challenge in the 21st century and that it is entirely solvable.

By bringing together the world’s political and business elites to look at the big picture, Davos’s organisers rightly assume that the public and private sectors can work together effectively for the good of humanity.

WFP has been convinced of this for a long time. Our long list of corporate partners demonstrates it, as does our leadership of the UN system in the field of public private partnerships.

Despite what WFP and others have achieved, there is still huge potential for the private sector to get involved in addressing key global questions. There are many synergies waiting to be tapped by organisations ready to look for creative partnerships with the corporate world.

Here, by way of example, are four partnerships through which WFP is enabling the private sector to join the fight against hunger.

Coca Cola and school meals

Coca Cola is working with WFP to produce a nutritionally enhanced juice drink which will be given to children in Colombia as part of the schools meals program. The drink will help ensure children from poor families get the nutrition they need to grow and study effectively.

Pepsi Cola fighting malnutrition

WFP is teaming up with PepsiCo and USAID to develop a specialised nutrition product for children in Ethiopia. The product, made from locally-grown chickpeas, is part of an innovative partnership aimed at increasing production of chickpeas in Ethiopia while addressing child malnutrition. Learn more

Project Laser Beam

This project, which was conceived at Davos, brings together Unilever, Kraft Foods, DSM and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) to reduce child malnutrition, starting in Bangladesh, through the development of tailor-made food products. Learn more

50 Cent pledge

The rap star’s latest venture – a line of energy shots called Street King – has a close tie-in with the fight against hunger. For every purchase of the drink, one meal is donated to WFP to feed a hungry child. 50 Cent, aka Curtis Jackson, has committed to raising enough money to pay for one billion meals over the next five years. Learn more