Statement By WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin On The Death Of Former U.S. Senator George McGovern

Published on 21 October 2012

I and everyone at the United Nations World Food Programme today deeply mourn the loss of U.S. Senator George McGovern. He was a founding father of our organization, our first Goodwill Ambassador and a lifelong advocate for the hungry poor.

Over sixty years George McGovern fought for the interests of poor and hungry people, from his days as the first head of Food for Peace - where he played a key role in WFP’s creation - through three decades of mobilizing bipartisan support in the United States Congress behind humanitarian assistance and meals at school for poor children everywhere. 

George McGovern saw – way before anyone else – how the simple, sustained act of putting a meal in the hands of a poor child at school could change that child’s life and give them a chance at a better future. In his later years he became a passionate advocate for the hungry: there has been no stronger and more steadfast ally in the struggle to uplift the poor and hungry around the world than George McGovern.

We have not just lost a partner but a champion in the war on the hunger, poverty and inequities that cause so much suffering in the world. To his last waking hour, George McGovern never abandoned the good fight – continuing to serve as a vigorous and vigilant champion for the voiceless.  

He was a man of enormous compassion and vision.  

We will miss him.