The Howard G. Buffett Foundation Joins Shakira's Pies Descalzos Foundation And Activia To Provide School Meals To Children Through The World Food Programme

Published on 02 July 2014
Los Angeles, CA - July 2, 2014 - Due to the overwhelming success of the campaign launched by Shakira and Activia, Howard G. Buffett, a United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Ambassador Against Hunger since 2007, today announced a commitment by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation to provide additional funding to support WFP’s school meals program.

The foundation will provide funding for 600,000 school meals and will match additional public donations made at www.wfp.org/shakira for another 600,000 meals. With each meal costing just US$0.25, WFP can provide a child with a month's worth of school meals for $5.

Shakira and Activia recently collaborated to produce Shakira's latest video "La La La (Brazil 2014)" and to raise awareness of WFP's school meals program. As part of the campaign supporting WFP, Activia and Shakira’s foundation, Pies Descalzos, donated a total of 3 million meals for children in need.

“I'm so happy to be able to announce that my friend Howard Buffett has joined my foundation, Pies Descalzos, and Activia in making donations to the World Food Programme; I’m grateful to him for showing such generous support and always championing for children's education and nutrition so they have the best possible chance to succeed in life,” said Shakira. “We're so thrilled with the overwhelming response the video has received so far, and we hope people will follow this example and help WFP support kids around the world.”

“WFP’s school meals help address the hunger challenges faced by millions of children around the world as well as enabling those children to have more productive education experiences,” said Buffett. “I am grateful to Shakira, a long-time champion for children and education, for the opportunity to partner with her and Activia on this important effort to raise awareness and support.”

“This campaign is vital in supporting the important work WFP is doing to feed schoolchildren and their families,” said Elisabeth Rasmussen, WFP’s Assistant Executive Director for Partnership and Governance Services. “And this donation from Howard Buffett and the continued support from Activia and Shakira offer individuals an excellent way to get involved.”

N. Frerejean, global marketing for Activia, adds: “We are delighted to see such a positive response for the video. Reaching 150 million views in one month is incredible and gives great visibility to WFP’s School Meals Programme that we, together with Shakira, want to support. We are happy to see new major supporters of this cause, like the Howard G. Buffet Foundation, and hope that this movement will continue.”

In addition to providing emergency food assistance around the world, WFP serves meals to more than 18 million schoolchildren in 60 countries, which for parents can often mean the difference between sending their children to school and sending them to work to help provide for the family. This allows children the opportunity to grow up healthy and to reach their full potential.

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About the Howard G. Buffett Foundation

The Howard G. Buffett Foundation works to improve the quality of life for the world’s most impoverished and marginalized populations. It focuses on three core areas: food security, water security, and conflict mitigation. Based in Decatur, Illinois, the Foundation is led by CEO Howard G. Buffett. To learn more about the Foundation visit www.thehowardgbuffettfoundation.org.

About the World Food Programme

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food in emergencies and working with communities to build resilience. In 2013, WFP assisted more than 80 million people in 75 countries. For more information, visit www.wfp.org/shakira.

About Shakira

Over the course of her career, Colombia singer-songwriter and Grammy winner Shakira has sold over 60 million records worldwide and has won numerous awards including two Grammys, eight Latin Grammys, four World Music Awards, three American Music Awards and five Billboard Music Awards, to name a few. She is the only artist from South America to have a number one song in the US, and has had four of the 20 top-selling hits of the last decade. At the age of 18, she founded the Pies Descalzos (Barefoot) Foundation and in October 2011, Shakira was named a member of President Obama's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. For more information, visit www.shakira.com

About Pies Descalzos

Pies Descalzos Foundation is a Colombian non-governmental organization, created by the artist Shakira in 1997. It works for a more equal and solidary country, with more opportunities for low income children. In Colombia, the Foundation supports four educational institutions located in Soacha (Bogotá), Quibdó, Barranquilla and Cartagena. Since 2004, the Foundation have implemented a comprehensive model, through the Open Door School Strategy, which links three lines of intervention: Quality Public Education, Nutrition, and Life Tools. Attends more than 6.000 children and approximately 60.000 youth and adults from those communities are benefited. To learn more about Pies Descalzos Foundation, visit www.fundacionpiesdescalzos.com/en