UN food aid agency helps create online game to fight hunger
UN food aid agency helps create online game to fight hunger
30 November 2011
The game, Food Force, takes players through the process of planting, harvesting, processing and distributing food all over the world while they respond to food emergencies, prompting users to use their logistical abilities to keep countries from experiencing hunger.
The game, which can be accessed as an application on the social networking site Facebook, also allows players to ask friends to help them in their operations and compete with other users to obtain crops, equipment and virtual goods.
“Konami has created a challenging game that we hope will harness the immense power of social media to raise awareness and funds for the hungry,” said Nancy Roman, WFP’s Director of Communications, Public Policy and Private Partnership Division.
Money spent by players will help fund WFP school meals projects in the real world, which provide daily meals to 20 million children every year.
“There are millions of online video games and a few of which help support the fight against hunger. Food Force will be the first one to build large communities of people who will be able to make a dent in hunger,” said Ms. Roman.
The game has been released in Japanese and English. This is the second version of Food Force following the original in 2005, which simulated an emergency operation on a fictitious island, generating over six million downloads.
“The social media and gaming landscape has been transformed since the original Food Force and now there is great scope for a game that allows players to grow and strengthen their networks, while doing good.” said Ms. Roman.
30 November 2011
Online Game “Food Force” Puts Players On Front Lines Of Hunger
WFP and KONAMI Digital Entertainment have teamed up to create an online game with a real-world impact. Food Force puts players at the helm of the world’s largest humanitarian aid agency. It combines the multiplayer fun of other popular social media games with the ability to provide real meals to hungry children around the globe.
ROME – Food Force puts gamers in charge of their own aid agencies, fighting hunger around the globe as they deliver food, respond to emergencies and manage their resources.
“KONAMI has created a challenging game that we hope will harness the immense power of social media to raise awareness and funds for the hungry,” said Nancy Roman, Director of WFP’s Communications, Public Policy and Private Partnership Division.
Social media driven
Like many other popular online games, players access the game through the social networking site Facebook. They must interact with each other in order to get ahead, which they can also do by buying crops, equipment and other virtual goods.
Money spent by players goes to fund WFP school meals projects in the real world. These projects provide daily meals to 20 million children every year, helping to keep them in school while providing them with the energy they need to learn.
This is the second version of Food Force following the 2005 original, a video game which simulated an emergency operation on a fictitious island.
An instant hit, the original version of the game has so far been downloaded over 6 million times and been played by an estimated 10 million people.
“The social media and gaming landscape has been transformed since the original Food Force and now there is great scope for a game that allows players to grow and strengthen their networks while doing good,” said Roman.
WFP and KONAMI
WFP’s relationship with KONAMI dates back to 2005 when it collaborated with KONAMI to produce the Japanese version of the original Food Force for PC.
“KONAMI will utilize the unique features of social games for its release of Food Force on Facebook. Through this title, we hope that people in Japan and across the globe not only strengthen their understanding of WFP’s work but also support their worldwide efforts against hunger while enjoying an accessible social game,” said Kazuhiko Uehara, Senior Vice President, Corporate Officer of KONAMI.
The game has been released in both Japanese and English.
About United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)
Fighting hunger worldwide
The World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.
“In emergencies, we get food to where it is needed, saving the lives of victims of war, civil conflict and natural disasters. After the cause of an emergency has passed, we use food to help communities rebuild their shattered lives.”
WFP is part of the United Nations system and is voluntarily funded.
Born in 1961, WFP pursues a vision of the world in which every man, woman and child has access at all times to the food needed for an active and healthy life. We work towards that vision with our sister UN agencies in Rome — the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) — as well as other government, UN and NGO partners.
In 2011 we aim to reach more than 90 million people with food assistance in more than 70 countries. Around 10,000 people work for the organization, most of them in remote areas, directly serving the hungry poor.
WFP’s five objectives:
- Save lives and protect livelihoods in emergencies
- Prepare for emergencies
- Restore and rebuild lives after emergencies
- Reduce chronic hunger and undernutrition everywhere
- Strengthen the capacity of countries to reduce hunger
WFP’s Mission statement
WFP is the food aid arm of the United Nations system. Food aid is one of the many instruments that can help to promote food security, which is defined as access of all people at all times to the food needed for an active and healthy life. ¹ The policies governing the use of World Food Programme food aid must be oriented towards the objective of eradicating hunger and poverty. The ultimate objective of food aid should be the elimination of the need for food aid.
Targeted interventions are needed to help to improve the lives of the poorest people – people who, either permanently or during crisis periods, are unable to produce enough food or do not have the resources to otherwise obtain the food that they and their households require for active and healthy lives.
Consistent with its mandate, which also reflects the principle of universality, WFP will continue to:
- use food aid to support economic and social development;
- meet refugee and other emergency food needs, and the associated logistics support; and
- promote world food security in accordance with the recommendations of the United Nations and FAO.
The core policies and strategies that govern WFP activities are to provide food aid:
- to save lives in refugee and other emergency situations;
- to improve the nutrition and quality of life of the most vulnerable people at critical times in their lives; and
- to help build assets and promote the self-reliance of poor people and communities, particularly through labour-intensive works programmes.
> United Nations (UN).
The United Nations was established on 24 October 1945 by 51 countries committed to preserving peace through international cooperation and collective security. Today, nearly every nation in the world belongs to the UN: membership totals 192 countries.
When States become Members of the United Nations, they agree to accept the obligations of the UN Charter, an international treaty that sets out basic principles of international relations. According to the Charter, the UN has four purposes:
- to maintain international peace and security;
- to develop friendly relations among nations;
- to cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights;
- and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.