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England Cricketers Go Out To Bat Against Hunger

England Cricketers Go Out To Bat For UN Against World Hunger

New York, Nov 9 2006 12:00PM

The England and Wales cricket team is now batting and bowling against global hunger in the latest partnership between sports players and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to draw attention to the plight of the 400 million chronically hungry children around the world.

Under the terms of the “Cricket Against Hunger” partnership, when the England team is on tour, WFP will arrange meetings between the cricketers and young children who depend on food aid to meet their nutritional requirements at school or in the communities where they live, making the sports stars advocates for the poor and the hungry.

“This is a splendid example of how sport can shine a light on a problem that takes the lives of tens of thousands of children in some of the world’s poorest countries,” WFP Deputy Executive Director responsible for global fundraising John Powell said. “Despite all the technological and medical progress we have made in the world, h῵nger takes more lives each day than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined.

WFP already has a long-standing relationship with the International Rugby Board, which helped to raise funds for the agency’s work. A number of leading stars, including Brazilian World Footballer of the Year Ronaldinho, Kenyan world marathon record holder Paul Tergat, and the Sri Lankan bowler Muttiah Muralitharan, are WFP celebrity partners and advocate on behalf of the world™s hungry.

The agency even recruited Italian Formula One auto racing star Jarno Trulli in a public service television announcement to show the speed at which malnourished children are dying around the world and the minimal amount it costs to slow the rate down.

“In five seconds, my Formula One racing car can go from 0-200 kilometres per hour. Every five seconds, a child dies of hunger - that's 720 children an hour, all day, every day. We can’t stop time, but we can stop the dying,” Mr. Trulli said.

And during emergency relief operations after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, US football stars, including New York Giants wide receiver Amani Toomer, Kansas City Chiefs fullback Tony Richardson and former Australian rugby captain Nick Farr-Jones toured the worst hit areas to highlight WFP’s efforts to deliver food to survivors.

“Cricket Against Hunger” has already made its mark in a practical way. Last month, during the International Cricket Council Champions Trophy tournament in India, four England internationals took time out from their training in Jaipur to visit children who receive food aid from WFP as part of a school feeding programme.

The players then played a quick game with the children before touring a factory that produces a highly nutritious food blend that is distributed to vulnerable groups in India.


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