Paraguay: Music against Hunger
World-famous artists raise their voices in support of TeleFood
15 September 2006, Rome A group of world-famous artists will be taking part in a concert in Paraguay's capital, Asunción, to draw attention to the problem of world hunger and raise funds for FAO projects, the UN agency announced today.
The mega-concert, Music vs. Hunger will be staged on Thursday, 21 September, in the “Defensores del Chaco” stadium in the Paraguayan capital and will feature singing performances by FAO celebrity Goodwill Ambassadors Ronan Keating (Ireland), Noa (Israel) and Al Bano Carrisi (Italy).
Singers Paul Young (UK), Chichi Peralta (Dominican Republic) and Axel (Argentina) will also participate, along with a large group of Paraguayan artists. They will all be accompanied by a symphony orchestra and chorus under the Italian conductor Renato Serio.
This is the first time an event of this magnitude has ever been organized in Paraguay, and it is happening under the patronage of María Gloria Penayo de Duarte, Paraguay’s First Lady, who was named as FAO’s first Ambassador Extraordinary last October in recognition of her commitment to helping the most vulnerable communities in her country.
Beginning at 20:00 hrs local time, the concert will be relayed live on Paraguay’s national TV and will be shown on giant screens set up in different parts of the country. In conjunction with INTELSAT, the concert will also be broadcast worldwide via satellite and can be used freely by television networks as part of the TeleFood 2006 campaign.
The funds raised will be used for the TeleFood programme, which finances sustainable projects aimed at helping small-scale farmers in developing countries to produce more food for their families and communities.
In addition to ticket revenues, the organizers hope to raise money from the sale of souvenirs, and also from donations paid into special bank accounts set up for the event.
FAO Ambassadors, Al Bano, Noa, Ronan Keating and Gilberto Gil have recorded messages of support for the event which are being broadcast by Paraguay’s largest television networks.
“The energy of young people is crucially important in sending out signs of hope to the world, and music can be a way of spreading understanding that hunger suffered by our neighbours is everybody’s problem,” says Keating, while Al Bano and Noa call on their fans to “struggle together against this iniquity.”
For his part, Gil says that it is “unacceptable” that worldwide 35 000 people starve to death each day and adds that “eradicating hunger is not a dream” but rather an achievable goal whose success depends on the will and determination of all of us.
In another television message, FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf expresses his hope that the concert will send out from Paraguay “a message of unity and solidarity to combat hunger” to the whole world.
“Music vs. Hunger is the occasion; eradicating hunger the challenge. And relying on your support is our certitude that we can attain the goal,” says Diouf, emphasizing that the event is “a unique opportunity to try to change the future for so many needy people in Latin America.”
Ten years of TeleFood
In 1997 FAO launched the worldwide TeleFood initiative, using concerts, sports events and other activities with the participation of celebrities and the support of the mass media, civil society, NGOs and the private sector to muster the solidarity of the general public in the fight against hunger.
Now in its 10th year, TeleFood has helped finance more than 2 000 projects in 127 different countries.
Information officer, FAO
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