TOKYO – Japanese model Kurara Chibana was today appointed the first National Ambassador against Hunger for Japan for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). Elisabeth Rasmusson, WFP’s Assistant Executive Director for Partnership and Governance Services, announced the appointment at a ceremony in Tokyo during her visit to Japan, and presented Chibana with a €2 WFP commemorative coin, a symbolic payment for her dedication.
“I think that hunger could be eliminated in our lifetime. There must be something that each of us can do to end hunger,” said Chibana. “ I personally am honoured and proud to lend my voice to speak about hunger and what WFP is doing to tackle it in some of poorest and most insecure parts of the world. I ask each of you to think about what you can do. No matter how small, with your effort, we can make a difference.”
Chibana, whose celebrity encompasses both beauty and intelligence, has a track record of commitment to hunger issues. Since her appointment as a WFP Celebrity Partner in 2007, she has travelled to WFP’s operations every year to see first-hand how real hunger affects people with whom she has talked directly - especially mothers and children.
The sites Chibana visited included a drought-affected village in Zambia (2008), a camp for displaced persons in the typhoon-hit Philippines (2009), a Sri Lankan village in the aftermath of conflict (2010), tsunami-affected areas in Japan (2011), a school in a poor village in Tanzania (2012), and, most recently, a health post in Ethiopia providing nutritional support to mothers and children (2013).
Chibana has actively spread the word about hunger and WFP’s mission to end it through media and public events. In particular, she is a passionate promoter of WFP’s school feeding programme, which boosts children’s nutrition and attendance in school.
“During the past six years, we have seen Kurara Chibana’s extraordinary dedication as a WFP Celebrity Partner to helping the hungry. She has served as a powerful and influential messenger first and foremost to young women in Japan who we might not heard about WFP otherwise. So today, we are establishing a stronger partnership that will bring more benefits to those we serve, and help create a world free from hunger,” said Rasmusson.
In her first appeal as Ambassador, Chibana is asking her fans to join her in supporting the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan, by visiting WFP’s Japanese language website (www.wfp.org/jp).
For more information please contact:
Yuko Yasuda, WFP/Tokyo, Mob. Tel. +81 3 5766 5364, Mob.+ 81 90 9844 9990