Five new UN Goodwill Ambassadors named to help combat hunger

17 September 2009

A First Lady, a nine-time Olympic gold medallist, a famous fashion designer and two singers were today named United Nations Goodwill Ambassadors as part of the world body’s efforts to feed more than a billion currently undernourished people.

A First Lady, a nine-time Olympic gold medallist, a famous fashion designer and two singers were today named United Nations Goodwill Ambassadors as part of the world body’s efforts to feed more than a billion currently undernourished people.

The Dominican Republic’s First Lady Margarita Cedeño de Fernández, French fashion designer Pierre Cardin, United States athlete Carl Lewis, Indonesian singer and songwriter Anggun and Colombian singer Fanny Lu will be officially awarded the title by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on World Food Day – 16 October – in Rome.

Goodwill Ambassadors are appointed by the UN and its agencies to drum up public awareness and funding for UN programmes.

Mrs. Cedeño de Fernández is being presented with the title of Extraordinary Ambassador in recognition of the numerous social development projects in food and agriculture she has undertaken in her own country and in particular those benefiting women.

Mr. Cardin, one of the world’s most famous stylists for both women and men, has initiated a large number of humanitarian projects and public campaigns notably for the victims of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, when 8.4 million people in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia were exposed to radiation after the Chernobyl plant in Ukraine blew up.

Mr. Lewis, winner of nine Olympic gold medals, was nominated Century Sportsman by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Ms. Anggun, one of the first Asian artists to have broken onto the international music scene with her hit album “Snow on the Sahara,” has campaigned for a wide range of social and environmental causes.

Colombian singer Fanny Lu, who has topped music charts in Latin America for the past three years, has been active in promoting World Food Day and the FAO TeleFood campaign to fund micro-projects around the globe.

This year’s Day theme – achieving food security in times of crisis – highlights the critical plight of 1.02 billion people who are currently malnourished and the increasingly critical need in the current depressed economic climate to assist the hungry.

Both short- and long-term initiatives are needed to provide emergency assistance to the worst affected households and in the longer term, substantially increased investment in agriculture.

Investing in rural areas would improve agricultural productivity and enhance livelihoods and food security, develop and conserve natural resources, expand and improve rural infrastructure and broaden market access, strengthen capacity for knowledge generation and dissemination, and ensure access to food for the most needy through safety nets and other direct assistance, FAO said.

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