| KUALA LUMPUR (19 May 2010) – The Asian Football Confederation and FAO today launched a campaign to raise awareness about the increasing problem of world hunger, which is affecting over 1 billion people globally – of which some 642 million people live in the Asian and Pacific region.
The cooperation agreement was signed today by AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam and FAO’s Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific Region, Mr. Hiroyuki Konuma.
“By the time I finish my short speech, 60 children would have died in this world because of hunger-related causes. It is a sorry statistic but a grim reality of the times we live in,” said Hammam.
“It makes me really sad that in a world of plenty, people have to beg for what is a fundamental human right – food. For me personally, this is one of the most meaningful partnerships AFC has undertaken.
“I can assure the Food and Agriculture Organisation that the phenomenal power of Asian football can mobilize the willingness, the decisions and the resources needed to eradicate hunger throughout Asia.”
The signing ceremony was also attended by AFC Social Responsibility Committee Chairman Dr Kwak Chung-hwan, member Ali Kaffashian, AFC General Secretary Alex Soosay, and Deputy General Secretary Hasan Al Sabah and other senior officials.
“We invite the Asia Football Confederation and its members to join our efforts for ‘United Against Hunger’, and to mobilize and invest in the fight to eradicate hunger and poverty so that the one billion hungry people in the world can be ensured of the world’s most fundamental human right; the right to food” Hiroyuki Konuma, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative stated at the signing ceremony.
AFC is proud to join FAO at the forefront of the fight against hunger and extreme poverty, as access to food is a fundamental human right, and cannot be denied to any individual.
This collaboration with FAO will be among several other AFC community-benefiting projects in the pipeline, according to Mr. Ra Ingill, Director of the AFC Social Responsibility Department.
With the number of the world’s undernourished now reached 1 billion, increasing understanding among the general public particularly the youth is a concrete and practical way to join the fight to end hunger.
FAO’s online petition calls upon governments and people all over the world to eliminate hunger as their top priority. FAO invited AFC and its members to participate in the global 1billion hungry petition at http://www.1billionhungry.org
This campaign, which represents an important milestone in the involvement of professional football in the global fight against hunger and poverty, includes the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the European Professional Football Leagues Association (EPFL), and the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL).