ROME - The Irish film actor, Colin Farrell, has added his famous voice to the growing roster of Hollywood stars helping the United Nations World Food Programme raise awareness and concern about global hunger.
Farrell readily agreed to appear in the latest of WFP's 30 second Public Service Announcements (PSAs), which have been shown over the past year thanks to the generosity of major broadcasters. On the heels of the tsunami crisis, he draws attention to the plight of the hundreds of millions of people who suffer hunger on a daily basis - often far from the media spotlight.
"Every week a tsunami rips through poor towns and villages all over the world. It claims 25,000 lives a day, 175,000 a week. It sweeps children from the arms of their mothers, robs hundreds of millions of any hope for the future. That tsunami is hunger," Farrell says in the TV spot which has started running worldwide.
The outpouring of international assistance in the wake of the tsunami disaster has raised concerns about the funding of other less high profile crises elsewhere in the world. WFP noted that donations to its operations in Africa have dropped this year compared to 2004, and has urged a "tsunami response" to its appeals for Africa's hungry - where food needs represent two thirds of the agency's global requirements.
Major shortfalls in donations are affecting operations in Sudan, West Africa, Ethiopia, DR Congo and southern Africa, for example. Beyond Africa, countries including Afghanistan, Haiti, Colombia and Tajikistan are facing critical food shortfalls.
By appearing in this TV spot, and setting his appeal in the context of the most prominent recent disaster, Colin Farrell's words will reach out to a film-going public who may otherwise have been unaware of the ravages of hunger elsewhere.
Colin Farrell joins other Hollywood stars and entertainers who are collaborating with WFP on global hunger issues. These include Sean Connery, Penelope Cruz, Rachel Weisz, Italian actress Maria Grazia Cucinotta and Egyptian cinema legend Mahmoud Yassin. Directors such as John Woo, Ridley Scott and Spike Lee have helped raise awareness by contributing their talents to WFP, while music industry partners include Wyclef Jean, Cape Verdian singer Cesaria Evora, Audioslave, and Thievery Corporation.
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency; each year. WFP provides food aid to an average of 90 million people, including 56 million hungry children, in more than 80 countries.
WFP Global School Feeding Campaign - For just 19 US cents a day, you can help WFP give children in poor countries a healthy meal at school a gift of hope for a brighter future.
Visit our website : www.wfp.org
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Deputy Director Communications
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