Thousands move to Caribbean beat at TeleFood '99 concert in Jamaica

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Good will and good music did not skip a beat despite the rains over James Bond Beach during the TeleFood '99 gala concert held in Jamaica on 28 November. A line-up of over 20 international stars of the Latin American, Caribbean and African music scenes entertained a crowd of thousands for hours, all in support of TeleFood.

Jimmy Cliff was one of the many entertainers who came together onstage in Jamaica in support of TeleFood

"Food for All" - the message of FAO's campaign against global hunger - will reach millions more on 4 December, when the concert is broadcast around the world by a number of satellite companies, including Intelsat and PanAmSat, who are providing television stations worldwide free access to their satellite signal. More than 80 television stations and radio organizations are expected to broadcast the concert. A Webcast will be also be available through the FAO homepage in December. Stay tuned for details.

Jamaica's own reggae superstar Jimmy Cliff, Gilberto Gil, this year's Grammy Award winner for World Music, and legendary South African jazz performers singer Miriam Makeba and horn player Hugh Masakela, like the rest of the musicians gathered onstage, gave their time and talent to make people aware of the problem of hunger in the world.

"FAO is not an organization that gives a piece of banana and a piece of bread to people and then walks away," said Makeba, who was recently appointed an FAO Ambassador by Director-General Jacques Diouf. "FAO takes time to train and to teach people how to help themselves for the next day, and the next day."

Over US$4 million has been donated to the TeleFood Special Fund since the campaign began in 1997. The Fund is currently financing 463 grassroots projects in nearly 100 countries in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. All TeleFood donations are invested in small-scale projects that help the rural poor and other vulnerable groups to improve their food production and to increase their access to food.

"Only a broad mobilization of public and private commitment and collective and individual resources can deflect the course of history," said Director-General Diouf, in appealing for the support of TeleFood's humanitarian objectives.

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3 December 1999

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