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UN food agency ambassador and marathon record holder dedicates race to hungry

UN food agency ambassador and marathon record holder dedicates race to hungry

Paul Tergat with school children in Kenya
United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) ambassador and current marathon world record holder Paul Tergat is dedicating his participation in Sunday’s race in London to the plight of the world’s 400 million hungry children.

Mr. Tergat, who is an Ambassador Against Hunger for the WFP, received food aid from the organization when he was a child growing up in rural Kenya, but despite such challenges he is now part of an elite group of world class marathon runners and is among the favourites to win the Flora London Marathon on 22 April.

“I grew up knowing the pain of hunger and poverty, but I was lucky enough to find a way out,” he said on arriving in Britain to participate in the event. The world record he set at the Berlin marathon in 2003 still stands.

“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.”

At a time when 400 million children around the world know what it is like to go hungry, WFP’s 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.

“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 organization.

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