WFP Honours Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu As Champion Against Hunger

Published on 26 January 2012

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu accepting an award as Global Champion in the Battle against Hunger from WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran (right) and WFP Deputy Executive Director Sheila Sisulu (left). Copyright: WFP/Rein Skullerud

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is honouring Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu of South Africa as a Global Champion in the Battle against Hunger in recognition of his long-time advocacy on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable people. WFP will present an award to Archbishop Emeritus Tutu during a dinner at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, later today.

DAVOS-- “Throughout his life, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has been a voice for the hungry, the poor and the vulnerable,” said WFP Executive Director, Josette Sheeran, “ I can think of no more worthy individual as a recipient of this honour, than a man who has confronted tyranny and defended the weak and the hungry, armed with nothing but the strength of his faith and the unwavering belief in upholding the rights of the oppressed.”

A Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and life-long activist, Archbishop Emeritus Tutu has been a staunch advocate for universal human rights, including the right to food, as well as the rights to clean water, shelter, hygiene, sanitation and health care.

“There are some problems so big and so entrenched it is easy to believe they will never be solved. Hunger is one of these problems,” said Archbishop Emeritus Tutu last year. “Yet a lifetime of experience has taught me that there is no problem so great it cannot be solved, no injustice so deeply entrenched it cannot be overcome. And that includes hunger.”

Archbishop Emeritus Tutu is the latest recipient of WFP’s Global Champion Against Hunger award. Recent recipients include Kofi Annan, the former UN Secretary-General; King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, of Saudia Arabia; Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, then-president of Brazil and Peter Bakker, former CEO of global logistics company TNT and WFP Ambassador Against Hunger.

Representatives of governments, non-profit organizations and corporations will attend the dinner at which Archbishop Emeritus Tutu will be presented with his award. The World Economic Forum is an opportunity for WFP to engage with the world’s political, economic and business leaders to discuss their role in supporting efforts to alleviate global hunger, the world’s greatest solvable problem. During the dinner, WFP will also launch its commemoration of 50 years as the UN’s frontline agency in the fight against hunger.