Formula One star Jarno Trulli is helping put the brakes on child hunger by appearing in a United Nations World Food Programme public service announcement (PSA) that indicates the speed at which malnourished children are dying around the world.
The Italian racing driver, who won his first-ever Grand Prix at Monte Carlo earlier this year, warns that hunger claims the life of a child in the same time it takes his Renault F1 car to reach 200 kilometres per hour.
"In five seconds, my Formula One racing car can go from 0-200 kilometres per hour. Every five seconds, a child dies of hunger - that's 720 children an hour, all day, every day. We can't stop time, but we can stop the dying," says Trulli in the TV spot.
Several international broadcasters have started airing the 30 second TV spot worldwide.
Team of stars
Trulli joins a team of international sports stars, who have recently appeared in television PSAs to help WFP raise awareness of the world's number one threat to health: hunger and malnutrition. They include world marathon record holder Paul Tergat of Kenya, a former beneficiary of WFP's school feeding programme, and Rugby World Cup winners Nick Farr-Jones and David Kirk.
"When I was asked to help the World Food Programme, I was very proud," said Trulli, who races for the Renault F1 team.
"I have been traveling around the world for a long time and have seen a lot of good and bad things. Lucky people, like me, have access to food but there are many others who are dying of hunger."
Trulli, 29-years-old and born in Pescara, central Italy, is enjoying his most successful season since debuting in Formula One in 1997. He goes into this weekend's French Grand Prix placed fourth in the world championship standings.
WFP plays a crucial role in reducing poverty and hunger around the globe, feeding 104 million people in 81 countries in 2003. But, despite early gains in reducing hunger in the 1990s, the number of hungry people has grown by 18 million in the last half of the decade - with children the most exposed.
Each year, 11 million children aged under-five die in developing countries; malnutrition is responsible for 60 percent of their deaths. Yet, for just US 19 cents a day, WFP can feed a child a nutritious meal in school.
""WFP is the largest humanitarian agency fighting global hunger. I'm sure that with just a little help, they will be better known around the world and can gain more support for the fight against hunger,"" said Trulli.
Note to Editors: both the PSA and B-roll is available for broadcast worldwide. Contact video producer Jonathan Dumont for a copy at Jonathan.Dumont@wfp.org.