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Press Release 98/55 

The event, organized by FAO, brings together headliner Youssou N'Dour and a number of other African celebrities

Dakar/Rome, October 5 -- "TeleFood 98," the second global anti-hunger broadcast launched by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), will be marked this year by a gala concert originating from Dakar, Senegal on October 17. Headlining the event will be music star Youssou N'Dour, FAO announced today.

FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf, said during a news conference that "the battle against hunger and malnutrition, which affects more than 800 million people in the world, including 200 million children under the age of five, needed concrete projects on the ground" which FAO was funding with the "generous contribution" made by the public.

TeleFood, an activity of World Food Day, celebrated every year on October 16, is designed to raise greater public awareness about chronic hunger and malnutrition in a world of plenty and to generate funding for micro-development projects in the poorest areas of the world.

Dr. Diouf said the first TeleFood, which was organized last year at FAO, allowed some 500 million people to learn about decisions taken by the World Food Summit in November 1996. Those decisions aim to reduce, by at least half, the number of hungry people in the world by the year 2015. He also noted that TeleFood allowed FAO to collect more than $2 million to launch 159 agricultural micro-development projects in 73 countries.

African singers and musicians will play the Dakar gala. Besides Youssou N'Dour, who has put his international notoriety to work for humanitarian causes, the artists will include Ismaël Lo, Cheikh Lo, Doudou Ndiaye Rose, Coumba Gawlo Seck, Baaba Maal, Henri Guillabert, Viviane Chidid, Pape Niang, Afsana, Omar Pene, Thione Seck, Omar Sow, Pathe Jassi, Thio Mbaye, Papa Ndiaye, Soriba Kouyate, Alioune Diouf and the French musician Jean-Philippe Rykiel. The concert is being held under the slogan "Benn," meaning unity in Wolof.

African music celebrities Fatou Guewel Diouf, Masane, Alioune Kasse, Ouza, Alioune Mbaye Nder and Souleymane Faye will sing a song by Henri Guillabert written to popularize the message of TeleFood.

The Dakar concert will be broadcast by a large number of national and international television networks and carried live by satellite. In conjunction with the global TeleFood broadcast some countries have organized TeleFood programs that will be shown at the national level.

Many international celebrities in the entertainment industry, including Sophia Loren, Catherine Deneuve, Melanie Griffith, Barbara Hendricks, Miriam Makeba, George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, Emir Kusturica and Alberto Sordi have announced their support for FAO's campaign against hunger and for TeleFood.

This year the TeleFood theme is: "Women Feed the World." FAO chose the theme in recognition of the important role women play in food security and to call attention to the need to recognize the rights of farming women to education, access to land, credit, technology and rural organizations.

"It is only right to improve rural women's access to the means of production, knowledge and credit, because they produce more than half of the world's food," said Dr. Diouf.

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For more information on TeleFood, please visit the FAO website at: and click on the TeleFood Logo.


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