Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.
ROME - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) will open its tenth year at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, beginning today, highlighting the message that ‘Zero Hunger’ is everyone’s business.
At Davos 2014, WFP Executive Director, Ertharin Cousin, will join partners to leverage public and private sector opportunities to achieve Zero Hunger. The WEF is a unique event where innovative ideas and partnerships are born. A world free of hunger within our lifetime can only be achieved with the combined contribution of business, government and members of the public around the world.
The business case for Zero Hunger is strong: recent studies, such as the "Cost of Hunger in Africa", have shown that chronic undernutrition in early childhood has a lifelong negative effect on the individual's health and future earnings potential and on their countries' Gross Domestic Product.
Cousin will meet political, economic and business leaders in Davos to explore new ways to leverage their expertise and resources in the fight against hunger.
Cousin and the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General, David Nabarro, will host WFP's Annual World Leaders event and awards ceremony. The dinner, opened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, will focus on strengthening public and private sector collaboration for the Zero Hunger Challenge.
During the event, WFP will honour three individuals with the WFP Hunger Hero Award, which recognizes their leadership in addressing the challenges of ending hunger. This year's awardees are Sam Dryden, Senior Fellow at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Marc Van Ameringen, Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN); and Dr. Shenggen Fan, Director General of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). # # #
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. On average, WFP reaches more than 90 million people with food assistance in 80 countries each year.
Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media and @wfp_business
The UN World Food Programme, DSM and Unilever will hold a LIVE Twitter Chat from the World Economic Forum in Davos. Ask your questions about how the private sector can help achieve zero hunger on 23 January 2014, 2pm CET / 8am EST. Follow #ZeroHunger, @mwbloem, @fokkowientjes and @kcfw.
For interview requests in Davos: Katharina Weltecke, Mobile: +49 172 410 5677 firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, contact (email address: email@example.com): Elisabeth Byrs, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. +41 79 473 4570 Emilia Casella, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 6513 3854, Mob. +39 347 9450634 Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel. +44 20 72409001, Mob. +44 7968 008474 Bettina Luescher, WFP/New York, Tel. +1 646 5566909, Mob. +1 646 8241112