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Monday, April 2, 2012

Sahel region in dire need of action to avert humanitarian disaster - Group

In order to avert the impending food crisis in the Sahel region of Africa, a campaign, "Professional Football Against Hunger" hits hundreds of European football stadium with the main message that action is needed to avert a humanitarian disaster in the region as soon as possible.
Professional Football Against Hunger as revealed to NaijaAgroNet in a press statement made available by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is being promoted by the Association of European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL), the European Commission and FAO.
NaijaAgroNet gathered that the campaign, Match Day Against Hunger was launched in 2008, which its third edition this year and the biggest-ever match started on March 30 to spread the call for urgent action.
Commenting on the issue, The European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva affirmed that football is the perfect vehicle for highlighting the plight of the people in the Sahel region.
"To respond properly to this emergency, governments, donors and aid agencies need to be united. Together, we can save lives," said Kristalina Georgieva.
"At the same time, we need to build resilience in local communities to stop jumping from crisis to crisis, and to prevent droughts from leading inevitably to famine," said José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of FAO. "We must act now to help people help themselves."
FAO Goodwill Ambassador and Spanish football star Raúl González Blanco said, "We need public support for food crises like this one. No one knows like footballers how crucial it is to have the stadium on your side to win the match."
"We are all diminished when somebody, in any part of the globe, dies from hunger," said Roberto Carlos, a Brazilian star player.
Spanish international and campaign's ambassador from the Spanish professional football league, Roberto Soldado also said, "Together we can prevent this crisis from turning into a full scale catastrophe." 
NaijaAgroNet further gathered that other football ambassadors of the campaign include Felix Magath, a former footballer and active coach in the German Bundesliga; Herbert Prohaska, appointed by the Österreichische Fußball Bundesliga - Austria; Steffen Freund, DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga GmbH, Germany; Vidar Riseth, Norsk Toppfotball, Norway; Jerzy Dudek, Polish Professional Football League and Alexey Medvedev, Football National League of the Russian Federation.
Yinka Awosanya/LS
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