Published October 18th, 2005 - 10:19 GMT

Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein will join the United Nations World Food Programme as a Goodwill Ambassador in the global effort against hunger, WFP announced today.

Presented by WFP Executive Director James T. Morris in Dubai, Princess Haya, the daughter of his majesty late King Hussein Bin Talal of Jordan and wife of HH General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Defence Minister of the UAE, spoke about her new role and the critical importance of global efforts to combat world hunger.

”The case for modernity, development, industrialization, and globalization cannot be made without simultaneously reaching out to those who are less privileged to ensure that they too are able to obtain the basics in life, to prosper, and to flourish. The reality, however, is somewhat different,” she said. “While humanity has made incredible leaps in science and technology, leading to economic prosperity for many, some who do not enjoy the same access to the very basics of life, have been left further behind than ever before. Today, there are more than 850 million hungry people in the world while 25,000 die from hunger or hunger related causes every day,” she added.


Princess Haya urged that a spirit of giving becomes “a sustained effort by individuals and corporations; a proactive effort by people who seek to assist those in hunger before it reaches epic proportions.”

“It is also my hope that institutions and corporations give silently and regularly, while simultaneously encouraging their employees to combat hunger.”


Morris said it was a great honour for WFP to be joined by such a prominent advocate on behalf of the hungry poor. “Her Royal Highness’s philanthropy, dedication and distinguished record of public service and outstanding commitment to humanitarian causes will undoubtedly help us reach out to more people, not only in the Arab and Muslim world but across the globe,” he said.

With this appointment, which was supported by the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Princess Haya has become the second Goodwill Ambassador ever for the United Nations World Food Programme.  She is also the first Arab and the first woman to take up this position.

Morris paid tribute to Princess Haya having established the first food aid NGO in the Arab world, ‘Tkiyet Um Ali’, a unique initiative which she founded in Jordan to provide food aid and social services to the poor. Princess Haya is also very active in promoting health, education, sports and youth issues.

She joins a growing list of world figures working to promote WFP efforts to combat hunger. These include Princess Sirindhorn of Thailand, the former United States Ambassador and Senator George McGovern, who helped found WFP in 1963; the Brazilian international footballers Ronaldinho and Kaka; the marathon world record holder, Paul Tergat who credits his success today to the WFP school meals he received as a child; and the distinguished Egyptian actor Mahmoud Yassin, who touches hearts and minds in the Arab world.

The food aid agency of the United Nations is wholly dependent on voluntary contributions. “With increasing pressures on government budgets and the world’s commitment to cutting world hunger by half by 2015 we have to work harder with the private sector, NGOs and individuals to raise more funds and awareness,” Morris said. “The help of distinguished personalities such as Princess Haya is indispensable for this drive.”

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency: each year, we give food to an average of 90 million poor people to meet their nutritional needs, including 56 million hungry children, in at least 80 of the world's poorest countries. WFP -- We Feed People.

WFP Global School Feeding Campaign – For just 19 US cents a day, you can help WFP give children in poor countries a healthy meal at school – a gift of hope for a brighter future.

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