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Uber is delivering emergency food and relief supplies to Ukraine

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The UN uses Uber’s software to coordinate distribution and track deliveries and drivers within a 100km radius of their warehouses. (Image credit: Reuters)

Uber is helping the United Nations deliver food and water to war-torn areas of Ukraine.

The delivery giant is working with the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) to coordinate a fleet of smaller vehicles into areas difficult for large delivery trucks to access.

The tech giant’s platform is being used to channel supplies to parts of Ukraine suffering structural damage and at risk of attack.

WFP chooses its own drivers and vehicles, but some are ex-Uber drivers who worked in Ukraine before the Russian invasion.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said his firm gave the WFP “their own private label Uber” – a bespoke version of the Uber Direct delivery platform available in stores.

Typically, companies pay Uber a commission per delivery for this service, but the WFP is not charged. Notable Uber customers using the service include Apple and Tesco.

KHARKIV, UKRAINE - APRIL 25: Elderly people queue for food distribution at a subway station used as an air raid shelter in Saltivka district of Kharkiv city, Ukraine, on April 25, 2022. (Photo by Narciso Contreras/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Elderly people queue for food distribution at a subway station used as an air raid shelter in the Saltivka district of Kharkiv, Ukraine, on April 25, 2022 (Image: Anadolu)

The UN uses Uber’s platform to coordinate distribution and track deliveries and drivers within a 100km radius of their warehouses.

The program is being tested in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro and will later be rolled out in four other cities: Lviv, Vinnytsia, Kyiv and Chernivtsi.

WFP aims to reach 3 million people a month in Ukraine by the end of June.

Uber’s platform was reportedly up and running within weeks of its first contact with the World Food Program.

“It’s not like you can wait a month to get people food – people need to get food right away,” WFP Executive Director David Beasley told the BBC.

“You can’t go a couple of weeks without food, and that’s why leveraging Uber’s technology, their distribution systems, their shipping systems… it’s really a great success story.”

A number of aid organizations are working to provide emergency supplies to Ukrainians, including the Red Cross, the International Rescue Committee and Save the Children.

The war in Ukraine is also causing global food shortages, as Ukraine and Russia together produce nearly a third of the world’s wheat and barley and half of the world’s sunflower oil, according to the UN.

Last month the UK and its allies said they were working to help Ukraine export essential food supplies but there were “no current plans” for Royal Navy warships to breach Russia’s blockade.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/06/08/uber-is-delivering-emergency-food-and-supplies-in-ukraine-16789750/ Uber is delivering emergency food and relief supplies to Ukraine

Justin Scacco

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