World marathon record holder dedicates London race to hungry children

Published on 19 April 2007

Paul Tergat, the current world record holder is dedicating his participation in the Flora London Marathon to the plight of hungry children all over the world.

Paul Tergat, the current world record holder is dedicating his participation in the Flora London Marathon to the plight of hungry children all over the world.

Paul has carried the true dedication and commitment he has shown as an athlete to his role as a hunger ambassador for WFP

Josette Sheeran, WFP Executive Director

Tergat who is an “Ambassador Against Hunger” for the WFP was a beneficiary of food aid as a child growing up in rural Kenya.

“I grew up knowing the pain of hunger and poverty, but I was lucky enough to find a way out,” Tergat said as he arrived in Britain to participate in the Flora London Marathon.

Elite runner

“The World Food Programme helped me as a hungry child at school in Kenya and now I am returning the favour by dedicating this race to the millions of hungry schoolchildren that WFP continues to feed in some of the poorest and least developed parts of the world.”

Despite the challenges of poverty and hunger that Tergat faced as a child, he is now part of an elite group of world class marathon runners.

The world record he set at the Berlin marathon in 2003 still stands, and he is among the favourites to win the Flora London Marathon on April 22.

Dedication and commitment

“Paul has carried the true dedication and commitment he has shown as an athlete to his role as a hunger ambassador for WFP,” said Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of the World Food Programme.

“His focus on the plight of hungry children and his efforts to raise awareness about the impact of WFP’s school feeding programmes have been exemplary.”

It costs around 19 cents a day to feed a child as part of WFP’s school feeding programmes.

Challenges

At a time when 400 million children around the world know what it is like to go hungry, school feeding programmes provide a simple and effective way of improving child nutrition, increasing enrolment rates at schools in developing countries and giving poor children a better chance to realise their full intellectual and physical potential.

“As sports men and women, it is important for all of us to use our privileged positions to raise awareness about the challenges that some of the less fortunate among us face around the world,” said Tergat.

“The Flora London Marathon has become a focus point for all sorts of good charitable work. My focus as WFP’s Ambassador Against Hunger is to bring people’s attention to the plight of hungry children.”