Water & Energy for Food (WE4F): A Grand Challenge for Development
WE4F is a joint international initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Foreign Ministry of the Netherlands, Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Announced at World Water Week 2018 and launched at Social Capital Markets 2019 signature event in San Francisco, California, WE4F aims to:
- Increase food production along the value chain through a more sustainable and efficient usage of water and/or energy.
- Increase income for base of the pyramid women and men in both rural and urban areas.
- Sustainably scale innovators’ solutions to meet the challenges in the WE4F nexus.
- Promote climate and environmental resilience and biodiversity through the sustainable, holistic management of natural resources and ecosystems.
How WE4F Works
The WE4F program capitalizes on the learnings from Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development (PAEGC) and Securing Water for Food (SWFF) Grand Challenge. The program is focused on environmentally sustainable innovations aiming to improve energy and water efficiency in the agricultural sector.
The WE4F initiative will work with promising innovations that were identified and nurtured during the PAEGC and SWFF to support their next level of scaling. At the same time, the program will open up new calls for innovations within the water-agriculture-food nexus. WE4F will incorporate the Regional Innovation Hub (RIH) model used in PAEGC and the Technical Assistance Facility developed under SWFF. By combining these two successful key programmatic elements together, WE4F’s decentralized approach will put a stronger focus on improving local framework conditions for innovations and facilitating end-user financing.