Uber, UN teaming up to deliver food in Ukraine

Melania rests as she works clearing the rubble of a temple that was destroyed during attacks in Gorenka, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, June 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

The World Food Programme (WFP) and Uber on Wednesday announced a partnership to deliver food and emergency assistance to people in urban areas in Ukraine. 

“With larger vehicles facing issues reaching those in need in built-up areas, collaboration with Uber allows WFP to better coordinate, dispatch and track a fleet of smaller vehicles delivering relief items from warehouses to people in need in densely populated areas of Ukraine,” Uber said in a release announcing the partnership with the U.N. agency. 

The partnership is already in effect as WFP has delivered food from a Dnipro warehouse to other areas using Uber. Now, the program also has a presence in Lviv, Vinnytsia, Kyiv and Chernivtsi.

“This technology helps WFP facilitate its response and improves how we serve communities in Ukraine that rely on us,” Matthew Hollingworth, a WFP emergency coordinator in Ukraine, said. 

Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s CEO, added that the company was “thrilled to be working with WFP to help them more efficiently distribute emergency food relief across Ukraine, by providing free access to a customised version of the Uber platform.”

The emergency assistance comes as the United Nations on Wednesday warned that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could have a catastrophic effect on global food security.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky similarly said in an address released Thursday that “dozens of countries may face a physical shortage of food.”

“Millions of people may starve if Russia’s blockade of the Black Sea continues,” he added.

Meanwhile, Uber has looked to assist Ukraine throughout the invasion.

In April, the rideshare company announced that it had resumed some of its services in Kyiv but was not charging any fee on those trips, meaning anything paid would go directly to local drivers. 

Uber has also offered a program in Ukraine and Poland that provides free rides for Ukrainians to travel to the border.

Tags Dara Khosrowshahi Food insecurity Russian invasion of Ukraine Uber Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky
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