Blantyre, Malawi (7 June 2010) - Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in cities around the world to show their support for the work of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in the fight against global hunger.
The annual ‘End Hunger: Walk the World’ initiative mobilised an estimated 150,000 people to raise awareness and funds for WFP’s school meals programmes. At least 153 walks took place in 70 countries across all 24 time zones, raising enough money to provide a whole year of meals for 10,000 school children.
Now in its eighth year, Walk the World is sponsored by three of WFP’s global private sector partners: global mail service TNT, consumer goods company Unilever, and nutrition and lifescience specialists DSM.
“In an incredible wave of solidarity, the world came forward to say that child hunger is totally unacceptable,” said Josette Sheeran, WFP’s Executive Director, adding that Walk the World is an excellent example of how global partnerships, including those with the private sector, can make a huge impact in the fight against hunger.
In Malawi, nine walks took place in the Mulanje District against the backdrop of Mt. Mulanje. There were 11,414 participants in the nine walks, including hundreds of school children and several members of the Malawi National Football Team.
Following the five kilometre walk, participants gathered to listen to speeches and enthusiastic singing and dancing by the school children as they expressed appreciation for receiving likuni pala (corn-soya blend porridge).
Special appreciation is extended to those who made the Malawi walk a success. Thank you to the walkers, NGOs and the private sector for support. Thank you also to the district officals for the excellent organization of the nine walks.
TNT is a global mail and express delivery company serving more than 200 countries. Since 2002, they have been an active partner of WFP and to date have invested over $50 million in the partnership. TNT founded Walk the World in 2003 as an engagement event for its employees.
Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of fast-moving consumer goods with strong local roots in more than 100 countries across the globe. Unilever joined forces with WFP in January 2007 to improve the nutrition and health of poor, school-aged children around the world.
DSM is a life sciences and materials sciences company. In April 2007, DSM and WFP joined forces to ensure the nutritional needs of WFP beneficiaries are met through the creation of cost-effective micronutrient interventions to improve the general food basket.