English cricketers head out to bat in Sri Lanka for UN anti-hunger campaign
Sri Lankan schoolchildren will have the opportunity tomorrow to learn some tips from some of England’s best cricketers during a special training clinic being held as part of efforts by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to raise awareness about global hunger.
England’s captain Michael Vaughan, batsmen Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen and coach Peter Moores will conduct a clinic at a cricket ground in Galle in the far south of Sri Lanka. The participating children are recipients of WFP meals at 11 schools in the surrounding area.
The clinic has been arranged under the “Cricket Against Hunger” partnership between the WFP and the England and Wales Cricket Board, one of several partnerships the UN agency has formed with sporting organizations or well-known sportsmen and women.
Mohamed Saleheen, WFP Representative in Sri Lanka, said the partnership is designed to raise awareness about the hundreds of millions of children worldwide who go hungry on many days.
“These players, who are known all over the world, have an important role to play in drawing attention to WFP’s vital work in addressing malnutrition among children,” Mr. Saleheen said.
Mr. Cook said it was important to spotlight the hardships faced by so many children around the world.
“As international sportsmen, we are in the public eye, and we have an opportunity to tell our fans and followers about the scale of this problem, and the work that WFP is doing to address it,” he said.
WFP started its school feeding programmes in Sri Lanka in 2003 in response to high levels of child malnutrition in areas affected by the civil conflict between Government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). After the Indian Ocean tsunami struck Sri Lanka in December 2004, the programmes were expanded. Today an estimated 350,000 children receive assistance in 15 of the nation’s 25 districts.