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Malian Pop Duo WFP’s Newest Ambassadors Against Hunger

Amadou and Mariam, the acclaimed Malian pop duo, are WFP’s newest Ambassadors Against Hunger, and the first devoted to raising hunger awareness in the EU. The announcement followed the two singers’ return from Haiti, where they met with families still suffering from the devastation of the January 2010 earthquake.

ROME –Fresh from their trip to Haiti, Amadou & Mariam said they were eager to join the fight against hunger alongside WFP and the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO) in making sure that "nobody goes to bed hungry."

“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,” said Amadou while visiting WFP projects in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince.

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

Trip to Haiti

While in Haiti, Amadou & Mariam visited WFP projects funded by the European Union. It gave them an opportunity to meet pregnant and nursing women and their children in the health clinic of Camp l’Aviation, where some 25,000 Haitians displaced after the January 2010 earthquake still live.

Amadou & Mariam 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,” Mariam said afterwards.

The visit of Amadou & Mariam concluded with a concert at which they were joined by famous Haitian musicians, James Germain, and Beken at the Institut Français d’Haïti in Port-au-Prince.

Powerful voices

amadou and mariam filling up a wheelbarrow with rubble

“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,” said Peter Zangl, Director General of ECHO.

ECHO and WFP have developed a strong partnership. In 2010, ECHO supported WFP’s response in 34 crises, aimed to meet the basic nutritional needs of the affected population, particularly those of women and children.

Photo copyright WFP/Annette Schreyer