BRASILIA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has honoured President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, as a “Global Champion in the Battle Against Hunger” in recognition of his vision and leadership in the fight to eradicate hunger and child under-nutrition in Brazil and worldwide. The honour was bestowed on President Lula by WFP Executive Director, Josette Sheeran, during her first official visit to the country.
“The Government of Brazil and the World Food Programme share a common vision of a world free of hunger,” said Sheeran. “President Lula has shown leadership in the fight against hunger by pushing the needs of the poor and the under-nourished to the very top of the international agenda.”
Sheeran – who visited the site of one of Brazil’s national hunger programmes, a Fome Zero (Zero Hunger) project near the capital, Brasilia – said President Lula’s enthusiasm for the needs of the hungry had set an example for others to follow.
In partnership with WFP, Brazil has provided technical support to help governments run their school meal programmes in African, Latin America and Caribbean countries giving school children a hot meal and helping them to build the nutritional foundation they need for a better future.
Brazil is also assisting WFP emergency operations in Haiti, where the Brazilian-led UN peacekeeping force supported food distributions among Haitians before and after the 12 January devastating earthquake.
WFP’s “Global Champion in the Battle against Hunger” award is given to individuals for their vision and leadership in addressing hunger, and for showing that the fight against hunger and child under-nutrition can be won.
Previous recipients of this award include Kofi Annan (former UN Secretary General), Ban Ki-moon (UN Secretary General), Robert Zoellick (President of the World Bank), Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, John Kofi Agyekum Kufuor (former Ghanaian president), Cindy McCain (US humanitarian campaigner) and Li Ning (Chinese Olympic athlete).