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April 14, 11

NEWS / Malian singers Amadou and Mariam unveiled as UN Ambassadors against Hunger


13 April 2011 – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today announced that the Malian musical duo known as Amadou and Mariam has been appointed Ambassadors against Hunger to raise awareness among Europeans of the problem of global hunger and efforts by WFP and the European Union to combat it.

The award-winning singers – Amadou Bagayako and Mariam Doumbia, both blind, are also a couple – are the first WFP Ambassadors dedicated to raising awareness on behalf of WFP and the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO).

“Amadou and Mariam have supported WFP’s work for several years and we know how important their message of solidarity, encouragement and hope is to millions of hungry people around the world,” said Gemmo Lodesani, Director of WFP’s office in Brussels.

According to Peter Zangl, Director General of ECHO, “the humanitarian commitment of Amadou and Mariam makes them powerful voices in the fight against hunger. Their ambassadorship is also an important tool to highlight the vital partnership that exists between WFP and ECHO.”

The duo has just returned from Haiti where they visited WFP projects funded by the EU. The visit gave the two musicians an opportunity to meet pregnant and nursing women and their children receiving specialized nutrition products in the health clinic of Camp l’Aviation, where some 25,000 Haitians displaced after the January 2010 earthquake still live.

“Hunger is a problem not only in Haiti. Hunger is a problem for millions of people across the world and it is a problem for all of us. We are happy to be able to fight together with ECHO and WFP to make sure that nobody goes to bed hungry,” said Mr. Bagayako during a visit to projects in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.

The artists also visited a cash and food for work project in Carrefour, one of the worst-hit areas of Port-au-Prince, where a group of women is rebuilding the community with the support of ECHO and WFP.

“Being a mother myself, it has touched me deeply to meet these Haitian women. I am very happy to experience how they are staying strong and I encourage them to continue,” said Ms. Doumbia.

The duo’s visit to Haiti concluded with a concert at which they were joined by Haitian musicians James Germain and Beken at the Institut Français d’Haïti in Port-au-Prince.

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=38097&Cr=hunger&Cr1=

 




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