walktheworldLast Sunday, more than 760,000 people took to the streets of more than 100 countries to walk five kilometres in support of Fight Hunger: Walk the World. All around the globe, in 420 locations people came out in force to deliver a message: child hunger has no place in this world and citizens working together can root it out.

The World Food Programme, its partners, and supporters, as well as war-displaced families and over 100,000 school children in sub-Saharan Africa alone, declared it is unacceptable that 18,000 children die of hunger every day on a planet that produces more than enough food for every inhabitant. (Walkers in London, photo by World Food Programme)

Funds raised will support two programs aimed at reducing child hunger: projects to help pregnant and lactating women and young children and school feeding projects. Last year, WFP provided school meals for 21.7 million children in 74 countries. . .

johnson-sirleaf_walks Africa’s first woman president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf donned a cap and t-shirt to join some 80,000 children and 40,000 adults marching throughout Liberia. (photo by the World Food Programme)

In London, some 1,000 people opened their umbrellas and took a 5K walk in heavy rain through Regent’s Park.

In Indonesia, a world champion swimmer set a new world record on behalf of Walk the World by crossing the treacherous Bali straits while other supporters of ending child hunger were planting Walk the World: Fight Hunger flags at Mount Everest and Kilimanjaro summits.

The call to end child hunger was heard in Red Square in Moscow, on The Great Wall of China, in the historic centres of Budapest and Prague, in the old cities of Amman and Cairo, and in hundreds of other locations in all 24 time zones around the globe.


Papal support

And in his special Sunday morning address, participants around the world were encouraged when Pope Benedict XVI expressed his support for the Fight Hunger: Walk the World initiative to end child hunger by 2015.

“If we ignore child hunger, it remains a daily reality that ravages millions and goes unseen by most. We are bringing this otherwise invisible problem into the spotlight and moving citizens and governments to action,” said Arlene Mitchell, WFP Director of Walk the World.

The event, initiated three years ago by TNT, global provider of express, mail and logistics services, aims to engage citizens worldwide, throughout the next decade to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of hungry people globally by 2015.

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