Head of UN food aid agency begins visit to Brazil

WFP chief Josette Sheeran meets with farmers and community representatives from Brazlandia, Brazil

9 May 2010 – The head of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Sunday kicked off a two-day visit to Brazil during which she will see first-hand the impact of initiatives to combat hunger, as well as honour the nation's President for his leadership in tackling this vital issue.

Josette Sheeran, WFP's Executive Director, is scheduled to visit Fome Zero ("Zero Hunger") projects – a Brazilian Government programme to reduce hunger and extreme poverty – near the capital, Brasilia, on Sunday.

On Monday, Ms. Sheeran will meet with President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva and other Brazilian officials.

She will present Mr. Lula with an award honouring him as a "Global Champion in the Battle Against Hunger," for his leadership in the eradication of hunger and child malnutrition in Brazil and other parts of the world.

The Executive Director will also participate tomorrow in the Brazil-Africa Dialogue on Food Security, which brings together agriculture ministers from across Africa.

During her visit, Ms. Sheeran will commend the increasingly active role played by Brazil in humanitarian assistance and for partnering with WFP's operations.

In Haiti, for example, Brazilian UN peacekeepers supported WFP food distributions after the devastating January earthquake. Brazil is also supporting school meal programmes in Africa and Latin America to encourage children to attend school and provide essential nutrition.

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