8 January 2013

Africa: 50 Voices Join WFP to Speak Out Against Global Hunger

The fight against hunger cannot be won alone. That's why, 50 years after its founding, WFP gathered "50 Takes on Hunger" from leaders in the public and private sectors, from celebrities, athletes and academics, and from a school girl in Kenya who receives WFP food assistance.

To mark more than 50 years of fighting hunger around the world, WFP asked influential people to give us their thoughts on hunger. Every week during 2012, we published a new clip from UN officials, government leaders, business people, academics, celebrities, philanthropists and WFP Ambassadors against Hunger. Together, the series presents an inspiring array of personal stories, words of encouragement and hope for a future free from hunger.

Some speakers told us of their own experiences with hunger. World champion marathon runner and WFP Ambassador Against Hunger Paul Tergat told us that, as a child in Kenya, he went to school simply because it meant he would get food from WFP. "It was one meal in school, but it meant a lot of tremendous changes in my life."

50 voices

Others, like Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and DSM CEO Feike Sijbesma, told us about the critical role of proper nutrition to build healthy lives. "Childhood malnutrition stunts people for life and lowers their productivity," Stiglitz told us. "It is important that we not only provide food and calories, but that we provide the right food with the right ingredients, especially for children," explained Sijbesma.

For Hend Sabry, Tunisian actress and WFP Ambassador, hunger is the root of many other issues. "We cannot tackle education, health care or human rights or freedoms while people are still suffering from hunger," she said. Sabry recently visited WFP's food assistance operations for Syrian refugees in Zaatari camp in Jordan.

Transforming lives

Our speakers also focused on how we as a global community can work together to end hunger. For Howard G. Buffett, whose Foundation has lent great support to WFP's Purchase for Progress pilot project, the solution is in agriculture. "One of the most important things would be reaching the two billion small farmers across the world and empowering them to become food secure on their own."

To round out the series, we highlighted the story of Molly, a girl from the Mathare slum of Nairobi, Kenya, who gained her own bit of fame from the videos she created for Molly's World. Molly and her classmates receive daily school meals from WFP, which encourage them to go to school and help them learn better. "I like the food that I take at school. It is very sweet and enables us to concentrate in class."

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