Grand Challenges Canada

September 25, 2018, New York, USA – Today, the Administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Honorable Mark Green, and the Secretary of State for the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom, The Right Honourable Penny Mordaunt, M.P., announced 23 intended finalists for Creating Hope in Conflict: A Humanitarian Grand Challenge, at the 2018 edition of the Concordia Annual Summit in New York City.

The finalists emerged from a pool of 615 applications received from 86 countries – 48 percent of which came from lower-middle-income countries. About one-third of the applications involved projects led by women. The finalists, who stand collectively to receive $5 million in funding, will now put their innovative ideas into action to implement solutions that will provide, supply, or generate locally safe drinking water and sanitation, energy, life-saving information, or health supplies and services to help the most-vulnerable and hardest-to-reach people affected by conflict.

USAID and DFID, which launched Creating Hope in Conflict as a multi-organizational partnership, today announced an additional combined investment of USD $10 million. In addition, the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands announced its commitment to join the partnership and invest $7.5 million in this effort, which brings the total contribution for the Humanitarian Grand Challenge to USD $32.5 million. Grand Challenges Canada is implementing Creating Hope in Conflict on behalf of the investors.

The new commitment by the Dutch Government and the announcement of the 23 intended finalists are a testament to the power of partnerships to bring organizations together to respond more nimbly to complex emergencies and empower people to create better lives for themselves.

For more information on Creating Hope in Conflict: A Humanitarian Grand Challenge, visit:

The Humanitarian Grand Challenge

USAID and DFID launched Creating Hope in Conflict: A Humanitarian Grand Challenge to enable governments and the private sector to work together alongside affected communities to address the unprecedented magnitude of suffering around the world.

The 23 selected seed projects will receive grants of up to $250,000 each over a maximum of twenty-four (24) months to support the validation and testing of new approaches. Final grants, subject to negotiation, will be signed later this year. The following are the intended finalists:

Iristick – Testing “smart” glasses that allow local health care workers in the Democratic Republic of Congo to receive real-time medical expertise remotely from doctors.

Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations – Strengthening the resilience of health systems in Yemen and Syria—while diminishing reliance on diesel fuel—by integrating solar power, electronic-vehicle ambulance systems, and remote telemedicine services.

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute – Developing CareNetin Yemen, a community-based network of support groups that promote the inclusion of children and young people with disabilities.

Comprehensive Community-Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania – Deploying 3-D printing technology to make high-quality lower-body prosthetics for people with disabilities in Tanzania.

Anonymous innovator – Developing maggot-debridement therapy for effective wound care in Afghanistan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

Fundación Acción Contra El Hambre – Implementing chatbot technology to  diagnose and monitor malnutrition in Sénégal.

Alseeraj for Development and Healthcare – Validating the need for a tele-microbiology system in Syria to enhance capacity for diagnostic microbiological testing and the analysis of results.

Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation – Implementing high-tech water-purification and renewable solar-power systems in Yemen, with the goal of producing 1,000 gallons of safe drinking water a day.

Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research – Building and evaluating a safe-water optimization tool—by leveraging cloud computing and artificial intelligence—to ensure water is safe to drink at field sites in South Sudan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Malawi.

SurgiBox, Inc., Massachusetts Corporation – Manufacturing an inflatable surgical “mini operating room” that fits into a backpack, to enable safe surgeries to be done anytime, anyplace, piloted in  Burkina Faso, Mali, and Uganda.

Change:Water Labs, Inc. – Validating and piloting a compact, portable, sewage-evaporating toilet that provides safe, private sanitation to homes with no power or plumbing in Panamá, Lebanon, and Jordan.

OmniVis – Developing a water-based smartphone diagnostic device for Yemen and Haiti that uses DNA-amplification to detect the bacteria Vibrio cholerae, which causes cholera, in less than 30 minutes.

Anonymous innovator – Piloting an inexpensive, electricity-free cold-storage box in India and Afghanistan that can keep essential food and medication fresh for more than 20 weeks.

Sun Buckets, Inc. – Testing a method to collect, store, and recover solar energy in portable containers for cooking, space-heating, and thermal pasteurization in Kenya.

Johns Hopkins University – Delivering a rapidly deployable telemedicine platform called Intelehealthto connect community health workers remotely with a network of doctors, with the goal of providing primary/specialist health consultations in hard-to-reach areas of Syria and Jordan.

Energy Peace Partners –Supporting renewable energy in Uganda and South Sudan by establishing the Peace Renewable Energy Credit, which monetizes renewable-energy generation from off-grid conflict settings, by linking robust international energy markets to fragile states.

WATAN – Designing and testing a low-cost, locally sourced, mobile, plug-and-play battery module to produce stable and renewable energy for health care in Syria and Turkey.

Deutsche Welthungerhilfe E.V. – Introducing hydroponic vegetable and fodder-production at the Zam Zam displacement camp in Darfur, Sudan, with methods that use 90 percent less water than traditional farming to improve food security.

Rainmaker Organization for Sustainable Development – Piloting a system of solar-powered water pumps and sensor-driven drip irrigation in villages across South Sudan to support the livelihoods of conflict-affected people.

Johns Hopkins University – Developing a tablet-based app called MIT Sana mHealthto provide guidelines and knowledge to healthcare providers who are treating diabetes and hypertension care in Syria.

ActionAid UK – Piloting a low-cost mobile platform, designed by women, to combat violence against female refugees in Jordan by reporting incidents and providing up-to-date information and awareness on rights, local services, and safe spaces.

NeedsList – Implementing a chatbot program that aggregates real-time humanitarian needs from frontline responders, accessible to multiple stakeholders via secure database, piloted in Kenya.

Anonymous innovator – Developing a process that simplifies the process of collecting large-scale data and feedback from the humanitarian community in Iraq, Niger, Syria, and Afghanistan.


Media Contacts:

For more information about USAID and its programs, please visit:
Press Contact: USAID Press Office
Telephone: +1.202.712.4320
Email: vog.d1721468208iasu@1721468208sreci1721468208ffOss1721468208erPDI1721468208ASU1721468208
Twitter: @USAIDPress

For more information about DFID and its programs, please visit:
General Media Inquiries:
Email: ku.vo1721468208g.dif1721468208d@mae1721468208taide1721468208m1721468208
Telephone: +44 20 7023 0600
Twitter: @DFID_Press

For more information about Grand Challenges Canada, please visit:
Email: ac.se1721468208gnell1721468208ahcdn1721468208arg.w1721468208ww@sn1721468208oitac1721468208inumm1721468208oc1721468208
Telephone: +1 416 583 5821 ext. 5581
Twitter: @GChallenges