Wednesday 16 August 2023, 13:55

UN World Food Programme Executive Director thanks FIFA for supporting Zero Hunger social impact cause

  • Gianni Infantino and Fatma Samoura met the World Food Programme Executive Director Cindy McCain

  • FIFA and WFP are running the Unite for Zero Hunger social impact cause at the FIFA Women’s World Cup

  • Discussions centred on expanding FIFA/WFP partnership

The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ semi-final between Australia and England featured the Unite for Zero Hunger social impact cause, which is being promoted by FIFA and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to raise awareness of adults and children having access to food. Ahead of the match, FIFA President Gianni Infantino and FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura met the WFP’s Executive Director Cindy McCain, who thanked them for FIFA’s support for the social impact cause and discussed the possibility of expanding the partnership in the future.

The FIFA President described the Australia v England match as “a fitting platform with which to raise awareness of worldwide hunger - and how 345 million people are facing food insecurity. Many of them are children. FIFA is proud to support WFP to raise awareness of the global food crisis.”

Ms Samoura worked for the United Nations for 21 years before joining FIFA, including a role as the WFP Country Director for the Republic of Djibouti where she oversaw one of the largest food aid operations in one of the world’s most logistically complex regions. During that time, three years of poor rains left thousands of people facing food shortages and the country also had to deal with an influx of refugees from neighbouring Somalia.

“Food shortages and malnutrition are the harsh reality for millions of people around the world, as I witnessed at close quarters during my time in the Republic of Djibouti,” said Ms Samoura. “Yet, this rarely makes the headlines. So, we need to make the rest of the world aware of what is happening and, thanks to its huge popularity, football is the ideal vehicle for doing this. Combatting malnutrition and helping people rebuild their lives when confronted with natural or manmade disasters was at the core of my work with the World Food Programme, and I am very satisfied that FIFA can help bring this issue to the world’s attention. Everyone has the right to healthy food”.

Unite for Zero Hunger is one of seven social impact causes which FIFA and WFP are promoting at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.

Ms McCain said that, together, the two sides can shine a light on how a balanced diet and nutrition for girls and boys from an early age can reduce school drop-out, empower communities and impact sporting performance. Another area of collaboration would be in increasing awareness of the value of investing in girls’ nutrition, education, and well-being .

"It was a pleasure to meet with the FIFA President and FIFA Secretary General to discuss strengthening our partnership for a hunger-free world,” she said. “The FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 has been an outstanding platform to raise awareness of pressing global issues, and we are thrilled to have a partner in FIFA that is dedicated to harnessing the power of football to highlight how hunger affects so many people worldwide.”