WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran with Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno (right), Health Services Advisor Adolfo Panfili (center) and Haitian Ambassador to the Rome-based agencies Geri Benoit (left).
WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran and Gianni Alemanno, Mayor of Rome, on Thursday signed an accord committing both partners to working together closely on efforts to raise awareness of hunger issues worldwide, particularly in emergency situations. Here is Josette Sheeran's statement:
ROME -- We are so honoured to be here today in launching Rome’s leadership in the global fight against hunger.
The fight against hunger is a noble cause that links all cultures and civilisations.
Italy is already known as a global leader in food, not only for quality nutritious food, but also as the home to all the UN food agencies. But today, we are launching Rome as the international capital in solidarity with the world’s hungry.
Just a generation ago, after World War II, it was the people of Europe, Japan and the United States that faced severe hunger. Today there are more than a billion people who will go to bed hungry around the world. WFP reaches 100 million people a year who are threatened with the face of starvation if not reached through the generosity and goodwill of the world.
We join together in making Rome “Ground Zero” in a global solidarity campaign against hunger.
I am inspired by the actions Rome is taking today which will save lives.
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Details of the accord
Next week, leaders and experts on child nutrition from all over the world will come to Rome for a major nutritional forum, hosted by WFP and the Campidoglio/Municipality of Rome.
WFP and Rome will co-host international events linked to support the battle against hunger in all its forms, including:
- Distribution of hunger education packs to 20,000 Roman school children, an investment in the next generation, and WFP’s efforts worldwide to engage youth;
- The hosting of an annual day in Rome to bring the message of hunger to millions of people -- citizens and visitors alike;
- Use of Rome’s public transportation system, including its buses, to display and distribute information on hunger and WFP’s work to fight it.
Also, the Rome administration announced its commitment to providing WFP with a ‘citizen’s office’ in the heart of Rome, allowing the agency to be closer to the Roman people.
More about the accord on the City of Rome's website (in Italian)