Egyptians take a step towards ending hunger with WFP and Hend Sabry at the AUC

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Nearly 1000 people joined the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and its major corporate partners, TNT, Unilever and DSM, in a walk to raise awareness and money to feed hungry school children in some of the poorest countries in the world. The symbolic walk serves to raise awareness and funds about the organization’s school feeding projects which boost children’s nutrition and encourage them to stay in school.  The walk part of WFP global initiative 'Walk the World' took place at the American University in Cairo (AUC) Kattameya campus under the auspices of First Lady Suzanne Mubarak. WFP Ambassador against Hunger Hend Sabry, government officials, and various development partners including donors, embassies and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), etc. joined the walk that takes place in Egypt for the eighth year running.


“I’m proud to be taking part in this year’s walk for the first time as WFP ambassador against hunger,” said Sabry. “Throughout the day people from all over the world have been walking to raise awareness about hunger and how important, cheap and easy it is to provide a child with a nutritious meal for a child during a long school day.” In Egypt, around 400,000 children and their family members benefit from WFP’s school feeding scheme in 11 governorates that include Beni Suef, Menia, Sohag, Qena and Assiut.


Students receive a midday snack of nutritious date bars and each student is entitled to a take-home monthly food ration of 10 kg of rice if they stay in school 85 percent of the month. Similar food-for-education projects in Egypt are also designed to combat child labour and both boys and girls benefit from them. “The walk in Egypt is certainly a great opportunity to help vulnerable children who strive for better education in some of the most unfortunate governorates in Egypt,” said WFP Egypt Country Director and Representative Gianpietro Bordignon. “It also demonstrates solidarity among Egyptians and all those who work in development in support of this noble cause," he added.


On the same day, tens of thousands of people joined WFP and its major corporate partners, TNT and Unilever and DSM in similar walks around the world. Last year 360,000 people walked in 210 locations, raising enough money to provide school meals for one year to more than 20 thousand children. This year, 'Walk the World' takes place in 24 hours across all 24 time zones of the globe, beginning in Australia and ending in Samoa. Thousands of people took to the streets in locations from the Philippines to Malawi, Portugal to the Netherlands. For the first time this year, a walk also took place in Iraq. Following the symbolic walk, popular Egyptian band “Massar Egbari” performed.  Many private sector companies sponsored the event including Knorr, PepsiCo, Vodafone, Middle East Courier, Mars, Egypt Trade and Bisco Misr, in addition to national air carrier Egypt Air, the Egyptian Junior Businessmen Association, German Egyptian Chamber of Commerce and Trade, Egyptian Businessmen Association, and Nile FM Radio 104.2.     


It costs WFP just 20 Euro cents to provide a nutritious meal to a child at school.  School feeding programmes also give parents an extra incentive to keep their children in school, and help to lay a healthy foundation for a better future for the young.

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