Alexander the Great, aka Colin Farrell, becomes a general in UN war on hunger

25 February 2005

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has enlisted one of the world’s most famous military strategists, Alexander the Great – aka Irish film actor Colin Farrell – to help lead its war against global hunger, following in the footsteps of arguably the world’s most famous spy, James Bond.

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has enlisted one of the world’s most famous military strategists, Alexander the Great – aka Irish film actor Colin Farrell – to help lead its war against global hunger, following in the footsteps of arguably the world’s most famous spy, James Bond.

Mr. Farrell, who as well as playing the title role in the 2004 movie “Alexander” has starred in such films as “A Home at the End of the World” and “Minority Report,” readily agreed to appear in the latest of WFP’s 30-second public service announcements, the agency announced today. He joins such luminaries as 007 – aka Sean Connery – and actresses Penelope Cruz and Rachel Weisz, in plugging for WFP.

On the heels of the Indian Ocean tsunami, which killed more than 200,000 people in December, Mr. Farrell draws attention to the plight of the hundreds of millions who suffer hunger on a daily basis, often far from the media spotlight.

“Every week a tsunami rips through poor towns and villages all over the world. It claims 25,000 lives a day, 175,000 a week. It sweeps children from the arms of their mothers, robs hundreds of millions of any hope for the future. That tsunami is hunger,” he says in the TV spot, which has started running worldwide.

The outpouring of international assistance in the wake of the tsunami disaster has raised concerns about the funding of other less high profile crises elsewhere in the world. WFP noted that donations to its operations in Africa have dropped this year compared to 2004, and has urged a “tsunami response” to its appeals for Africa’s hungry.

Seeking assistance from famous stars to raise money and public awareness is a well-worn trail for UN agencies. For example, actress Angelina Jolie, Mr. Farrell’s mother Olympias in Alexander, is a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

 

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