Press Release 97/51
FAO's TELEFOOD GLOBAL TELECAST BY RAI;
60 COUNTRIES LINK ON "FOOD FOR ALL" THEME
Rome, October 19 - Television stations in about 60 countries
were linking up on Sunday 19 October for the first TeleFood
global telecast dedicated to the theme of "Food for All".
Organized by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
in collaboration with the Italian broadcasting company RAI,
TeleFood aims to involve people everywhere in the fight
FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf says: "TeleFood has
one major objective: to raise awareness of the scale of the
problem and encourage solidarity in the fight against
hunger. In addition we will also try to mobilize resources
in some countries for practical projects and programmes to
do something about it."
"Having enough to eat is the most basic of human rights.
The fight against hunger is not an issue of charity; it is
an issue of justice. Through TeleFood, we are looking for
global solidarity and support in that fight," Dr. Diouf
At the heart of TeleFood is the global telecast produced
by RAI 2 from 15.00 to 23.30, interrupted only by news and
the sports programme "Domenica Sprint", available for relay
by TV stations around the world via RAI International
satellites. The first part of the programme in the afternoon
was a special "Cronaca in Diretta" anchored by Danila Bonito
devoted to the issues of world hunger and food security,
with film reports, interviews and discussions and a special
live link with Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo in Milan, as
well as international entertainment. The second half of the
programme was devoted to a gala concert at the Sala Nervi,
Aula Paolo IV, in the Vatican, with a star cast headed by
Italian singer Andrea Bocelli.
"It is important that people at all levels are made aware
of the issues underlying food security and how they can
contribute to its attainment," Dr Diouf said. "To achieve
this objective, TeleFood needs the broad mobilization of
governments, civil society and, not least, professional
organizations, business enterprises and commercial firms as
well as celebrities, artists and eminent personalities all
over the world."
The TeleFood initiative was launched to coincide with
World Food Day as part of FAO's follow-up to the 1996 World
Food Summit in Rome, at which Heads of State and Government
and senior officials from 186 countries agreed that today's
total of more than 800 million hungry and malnourished
people in the world, 200 million of them children under
five, is intolerable and unacceptable. The Summit's Rome
Declaration pledged to cut this total by more than half by
the year 2015.
In a related "Food for All" initiative, more than 100
international celebrities from the worlds of entertainment,
music, literature, sport and politics have signed an Appeal
against World Hunger. Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro
has signed the Appeal and also agreed to lend his High
Patronage to TeleFood, along with other Italian political
Dr Diouf has pledged that every dollar raised by the
TeleFood appeal will go to providing practical support to
rural people in developing countries both through FAO's
Special Programme for Food Security and similar grassroots
projects designed to help them grow more food and to protect
themselves better against the vagaries of nature. No funds
will be diverted to cover administrative costs. The whole
operation will be subjected to independent external
Viewers holding credit cards who wish to make donations
to TeleFood are able to do so by calling the Green Number
167001919 supplied by the Servizi Interbancari organization
for holders of CartaSi, Eurocard/Mastercard and Visa cards.
The line is in operation from 09.00 on October 19 to 24.00
on October 20. A special bank account, C/C N.2233445, has
also been opened by the Banca Commerciale Italiana and
payments will be channelled to this "FAO-TeleFood" account.
The bank's branches were open specially from 14.30 to 23.30
on Sunday October 19 to receive donations.
Details of events and television programming in
individual countries supporting TeleFood can be found on a
special TeleFood Internet site linked to FAO's site:
The organization of TeleFood has been made possible
thanks to the collaboration of RAI and the generous
sponsorship of the Banca Commerciale Italiana, CartaSi,
Telecom Italia, Poste Italiane, United Colors of Benetton,
Pirelli, Sony Italia, Toyota, Ja-Zenchu and New Holland.