International Organizations Join Tech Powerhouses to Fight Famine

The United Nations, the World Bank and the International Committee of the Red Cross are partnering with technology powerhouses to launch a global initiative aimed at preventing famines.

“The fact that millions of people — many of them children — still suffer from severe malnutrition and famine  in the 21st century is a global tragedy,” World Bank President Jim Young Kim said announcing the initiative.

The global organization will work with Microsoft, Google and Amazon Web Services to develop the Famine Action Mechanism (FAM), a system capable of identifying food crisis area that are most likely to turn into a full-blown famine.

“If we can better predict when and where future famines will occur, we can save lives by responding earlier and more effectively,” Microsoft President Brad Smith said in a statement.

The tech giants will help develop a set of analytical models that will use the latest technoligies like Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to not only provide early warnings but also trigger pre-arranged financing for crisis management.

“Artificial intelligence and machine learning hold huge promise for forecasting and detecting early signs of food shortages, like crop failures, droughts, natural disasters and conflicts,” Smith said.

According to the U.N. and World Bank, there are 124 million people experiencing crisis-level food insecurity in the world today.

FAM will be at first rolled out in five countries that “exhibit some of the most critical and ongoing food security needs,” according to the World Bank, which didn’t identify the nations. It will ultimately be expanded to cover the world.

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