AIC ties up with World Food Programme for joint humanitarian and food security programs

April 28, 2016
Carlos Oppus, Onuora Daniels (Consultant-Programme Policy), Dr. Greg Tangonan, Martin Bettelley (Deputy Country Director), Praveen Agrawal (WFP Representative & Country Director), Fr. Jett Villarin, Doms Solpico (Research Assistant, AIC), Dr. Tess Perez, Dr. Toby Dayrit, Chris Favila (Research Assistant, AIC)

The Ateneo Innovation Center (AIC) signed a memorandum of agreement with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on April 25, 2016 to formalize their partnership to develop humanitarian and food security programs for the country.

The agreement defined the commitment of both parties “to engage in joint projects, sharing knowledge and developing platforms to improve food security and nutrition, education and knowledge management.”

“We know what we’re doing, we know where we can build great partnerships,” WFP Representative and Country Director Praveen Agrawal said. “What we’re looking for from Ateneo is how to do it because you (Ateneo) already have that knowledge.”

Fr. Jett thanks Agrawal for another opportunity given to the University

He also said that WFP’s programs will reach farther with the help of the academia. Working with institutions like Ateneo, he said, will help them reach across people easier and faster.

This was not the first time WFP has worked with the University. Back in 2012, AIC and WFP became partners in a project that provided clean water systems to 5 communities in the Philippines. They also did an aerial imaging project for the study of mangroves in Cagayan.

“We want this to be more formal, more scientific and more demand-driven to make it a real partnership,” Agrawal said.

Director of the AIC Carlos Oppus talks about the past projects they did with WFP

WFP says that more agreements for specific projects will follow after finalizing this one

University President Fr Jett Villarin, SJ thanked the WFP for providing another great opportunity to the Ateneo and said that it was something he looked forward to.

“We are always looking for science to matter, especially in the lives of our people,” Fr Jett said. “We want our work to matter and this project will be more fulfilling as it has spiritual rewards.”

WFP and the Ateneo will also be brainstorming other project ideas in an upcoming workshop which will be held in the WFP Innovation Accelerator site in Munich.

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