ROME– Tens of thousands of people yesterday took to the streets in cities around the world to show their support for the work of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in the fight against global hunger.
The annual ‘End Hunger: Walk the World’ initiative mobilised an estimated 150,000 people to raise awareness and funds for WFP’s school meals programmes. At least 153 walks took place in 70 countries across all 24 time zones, raising enough money to provide a whole year of meals for 10,000 schoolchildren.
“In an incredible wave of solidarity, the world came forward to say that child hunger is totally unacceptable,” said Josette Sheeran, WFP’s Executive Director, adding that Walk the World is an excellent example of how global partnerships, including those with the private sector, can make a huge impact in the fight against hunger.
Now in its eighth year, Walk the World is sponsored by three of WFP’s global private sector partners: global mail service TNT, consumer goods company Unilever, and nutrition and life-science specialists DSM.
The biggest walk took place in Burkina Faso, where some 20,000 participants gathered in Ouagadougou under the patronage of first lady Chantal Compaore. The smallest walk counted just one participant in New Zealand, where a determined TNT employee braved stormy weather on his own, in the name of the fight against hunger. Walks took place in historic and picturesque locations around the world, from Rome’s Piazza del Popolo to the ancient city of Jerash in Jordan; the Sri Lankan beachside town of Negombo to Indonesia’s buzzing capital Jakarta; from the rural town of Mulanje in Malawi to Manhattan’s Battery Park. For the first time this year, a walk was held in Iraq, in the town of Erbil in the Kurdistan Region, in order to highlight the risk of food insecurity for schoolchildren there.
Supporters can still join in the walk through the online community at wfp.org/walktheworld, where fans can post pictures and videos, as well as participating in a virtual walk by making a donation. A photo competition for the best pictures from walks around the world is running until 11 June.
For further information:
Silke Buhr, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 6513 2198, Mob. +39 345 227 4900, firstname.lastname@example.org