For more information, please refer to the Call for Applications.

About the programme

Energy acts as a catalyst for socio-economic transformations, influencing all dimensions of sustainable development. Access to energy is a cornerstone in achieving food security and eliminating hunger. Not only is energy essential for food consumption—much of the food distributed by the World Food Programme (WFP) requires cooking—but it also plays a vital role throughout food systems in production, processing and preservation.

In Niger, communities face significant challenges of food insecurity and vulnerability due to climatic risks like droughts, floods and rising temperatures, coupled with environmental degradation and water scarcity. Heightened insecurity and the spillage of conflicts from neighboring countries into Niger exacerbate these issues, leading to forced displacements. A total of 3.3 million people are acutely food insecure.

To address these challenges, WFP Niger in collaboration with the WFP Innovation Accelerator is launching a call for applications for innovative solutions supporting the Energy for Food Security programme. This initiative aims to identify and scale cost-effective and sustainable energy solutions for cooking and agricultural practices across crisis-affected and stable regions of Niger.

We invite global and regional innovators, entrepreneurs and organizations to contribute impactful and fit-for-purpose solutions that can enhance energy access in vulnerable areas, fostering improved livelihoods and resilience.  The WFP Innovation Accelerator and WFP Niger will provide comprehensive support to selected teams, facilitating the development and scaling of promising solutions. Our focus is on nurturing innovations that are not only novel but also sustainable and scalable, capable of bringing long-term change within challenging environments.​​

The application period is now closed. Stay tuned for further updates.

What we offer

Each selected team:

  • will have the opportunity to take part in the WFP sprint programme, a six-month acceleration programme combined with piloting, business training and mentoring;
  • will receive up to US$250,000 conditional funding* towards project implementation. The specific amount will be determined based on the maturity stage of the solution and the three thematic areas listed below.
  • will receive ongoing operational support from WFP Niger during piloting;
  • may qualify for further support and fundraising opportunities in the future.

*Please note that the final shortlisted teams will be required to go through the WFP vendor registration and procurement process before funding disbursement.

What we looked for
For this innovation challenge, WFP Nigerlooked for both low- and high-tech solutions specifically tailored to strengthen local food systems through the provision of clean cooking and productive uses of energy. We aimed to identify and support innovations from around the world that can effectively address these challenges and are operational or able to be implemented in Niger. The three innovation thematic areas are listed below. For more information, refer to the call for applications.
A woman bends over to inspect a tomato plant in a field.
Energizing Homes in Displacement Settings
We are looking for clean cooking solutions for households in rural areas, capable of powering electricity for cooking three meals a day, and household lighting systems that provide light inside the house during dark hours and surrounding areas.
A man sitting amongst buckets of tomatoes and peppers smiles to camera.
Energizing School Meals
We are looking for modern and efficient institutional cookstoves and energy systems that significantly reduce cooking time and improve air pollution within schools.
A man accesses water via a well pipe in a field.
Energizing Farmer Organizations
We are looking for solar-powered grain processing and preservation solutions that increase the production of primary processed products, including millet flour, millet couscous, cowpea flour and peanut oil.
How we will evaluate innovations
Eligibility criteria
  • Your organization must be an established legal entity (for-profit, not-for-profit, social business, NGO, INGO).
  • Your organization should have an existing operational presence or willingness to establish a presence in Niger, through a subsidiary, in-country office, distributors or partnerships in the country.
  • Your innovation must address one or more of the priority innovation areas listed.
  • Your innovation must be at least at the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) stage. Proof-of-concept and initial traction are preferred.​​
  • Your innovation should have a plan to implement in Niger within a six-month timeframe with the available funding and a clear pathway to scale.
Evaluation criteria
  • Impact: The solution has the potential to impact the people WFP Niger serves therefore contributing to WFP’s mission of achieving zero hunger.
  • Level of innovation: The idea is a new technology or approach to applying existing technology, process, or business model to address the problem statements.
  • Feasibility/Traction: The applying team has evidence of its ability to make and implement the proposed solution and has an indication of demand from the targeted users/customers of its solution. 
  • Financial sustainability: The solution has a robust plan to ensure sustainable revenue generation beyond WFP funding.
  • Team quality: Team members have relevant experience and are committed to the project.
  • Context relevance: The solution addresses at least one of the priority areas, and is suitable to implement in the Niger context.
More information
  • The application period for this innovation challenge is now closed.
  • We will review and select successful applications in June and July 2024. While we value all applications, please note that we are only able to contact shortlisted applicants. 
  • For more information, please refer to the Call for Applications, Solution Specifications and Frequently Asked Questions.