Representing UN agency, Princess Haya heads to Malawi to spotlight hunger

28 December 2005

Acting as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan is headed to Malawi today to spotlight the food crisis in the country.

Acting as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan is headed to Malawi today to spotlight the food crisis in the country.

“Much of the world's attention is focused on major crisis areas, but Malawi experiences food shortages every year and the cameras are not always there to tell the world,” said Princess Haya, the agency’s second Goodwill Ambassador and the first Arab and first woman to assume the position.

She observed that causes of Malawi’s food crisis are complex, with the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS exacerbating the suffering of its people.

“I want to talk to people and understand what they are going through so I can speak to the world on their behalf," she said.

Months before the lean season began this year, spiraling maize prices, the worst dry spell since 1994, chronic poverty and a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS had combined to send the country’s malnutrition rates soaring, according to WFP, which anticipates that nearly 5 million people in Malawi will need food assistance through April.

WFP expects to distribute food to more than 1.3 million people in Malawi this month and 2.4 million people in January.

The daughter of the late King Hussein Bin Talal of Jordan and the wife of General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Defence Minister of the United Arab Emirates, Princess Haya was appointed WFP's Goodwill Ambassador by the agency’s executive director, James Morris, two months ago.

Mr. Morris said it was a great honour for WFP to have such a prominent advocate on behalf of hungry and poor people.

“Her Royal Highness's philanthropy, dedication and distinguished record of public service, and her outstanding commitment to humanitarian causes will undoubtedly help us reach out to more people, not only in the Arab and Muslim world, but across the globe,” he said.

Princess Haya created the first food aid non-governmental organization (NGO) in the Arab world, "Tkiyet Um Ali,” an initiative that she founded in Jordan to provide food aid and social services to the poor.

 

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