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UN partnership with advertisers brings African hunger into Japanese homes

UN partnership with advertisers brings African hunger into Japanese homes

Pictures of Mozambican children on their way to school picking up dead twigs to use as firewood to cook their lunch will soon be flashing across Japanese television screens thanks to a renewed partnership between the United Nations food agency and Japanese advertisers aimed at drumming up support in the fight against hunger.

“We are profoundly grateful to the Japan Advertising Council for the genuine extraordinary partnership with WFP in support of our school feeding initiatives,” World Food Programme (WFP) Director for Japan Mihoko Tamamura said today in welcoming the year-long extension of the partnership through the Council’s prestigious public service announcement (PSA) campaign.

“The PSA campaign will remind us of millions of children in the world quietly suffering from malnutrition.”

The value of the campaign is estimated as over $30 million a year and the new PSA will be broadcast and placed through TV, radio, print media, and billboards from the beginning of July.

One of the world's largest advertising companies, Dentsu, designed and produced the PSA. Shooting took place at a primary school in Mozambique where WFP provides meals affording the children better nutrition and a better chance for education. Students appear and sing in the PSA, with the main theme being the “twig for life.” Narration is provided by the famous Japanese actress, Yuriko Ishida.

In 2004, WFP provided 16.6 million children with school meals in 72 countries and aims to reach 50 million children by the end of 2007. In poor countries free, nutritious school meals attract children to school, as well as enhance their performance by allowing them to concentrate on their lessons. School meals also target children in which are being devastated by HIV/AIDS rates, including Mozambique where some 300,000 schoolchildren are assisted by WFP at present.