24 November 2008 The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today called for people from all walks of life to join its online “virtual wall” to fight hunger, an initiative that will provide free meals for nearly 60 million children worldwide who go to school hungry.
For a small donation “The Wall Against Hunger” allows individuals to post their picture on a website – which several celebrities and sports personalities have already pledged to join – and email their wall images to friends as well as bookmark them to their social networking websites.
“The push to end world hunger is one thing that people across all political spectrums, all religions, and all nations can join,” said the Director of Public Policy, Communications and Private Partnerships for WFP, Nancy Roman.
Drew Barrymore, the actress and filmmaker and WFP Ambassador Against Hunger, is among the stars who have already committed to add their face to the Wall, which can be seen at http://www.wfp.org/wall.
Over the past four decades, WFP – acting with governments, other UN agencies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) – has helped to reduce the percentage of people who go hungry around the world from 37 per cent of the global population in 1967 to 17 per cent today.
However, over the past year, high food prices have pushed food shortages onto another 75 million people, resulting in a total of 923 million people going to bed hungry every night, according to WFP.
“With the financial crisis now upon us, unemployment is rising in the developed world, which will soon translate into fewer jobs, lower incomes and more hunger in developing countries,” said Ms. Roman. “Unless the world steps up, this will put all of our gains in jeopardy.”
News Tracker: past stories on this issue