ROME, 16 September 2002 -- World famous Italian tenor, Luciano Pavarotti, will join the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in the battle against world hunger when he performs in "Pavarotti canta Verdi" on 12 October, at the Grimaldi Forum in the Principality of Monaco, the UN agency announced today. Mr. Pavarotti and other well known opera singers will lend their talents to FAO's TeleFood campaign, raising awareness and funding for the fight against hunger and malnutrition.

FAO has led worldwide efforts to eliminate chronic hunger that affects some 800 million people worldwide-- more than the populations of North America and Western Europe put together. The TeleFood campaign uses national and global broadcasts of concerts and other events to increase people's awareness of the scope of world hunger and enlist their support for TeleFood's goal - Food for All. TeleFood centres around World Food Day, which marks the founding of FAO on 16 October 1945

The aim of TeleFood is to reach out and raise awareness about world hunger and to mobilize resources for hundreds of hunger-fighting projects. People from all walks of life support TeleFood. Some offer financial support, others participate in organizing TeleFood events. Hundreds of sponsors and celebrities, including renowned actors, singers and athletes, have lent their voices and their time to help TeleFood get the message out.

TeleFood events appeal to the generosity of those concerned about hunger in the world and all contributions go directly to grass roots development projects.. These projects have one basic aim - to enable people to build lives free from hunger. The maximum cost of a TeleFood project is US$10,000, and none of the money raised is diverted for administrative costs. Half of the TeleFood funds collected go to projects involving women and young people.

Fruit growers in Armenia, women's groups in Bolivia, farm families in Cambodia, fish smokers in Mali, spice growers in Nepal and beginner bee keepers in Samoa are just some of the world's food providers who are benefiting from the TeleFood initiative.

More than 1,000 micro projects in all parts of the developing world and countries in transition are financed by the TeleFood Fund. Although small in scale and cost, TeleFood projects make a significant impact. In Uganda, school lunches were minimal at the Kisowera Primary School until TeleFood donations enabled the students to create a schoolyard vegetable and fruit garden. In the poor southern provinces of Bolivia farmers sleep better at night knowing their crops are safely stored in metal silos, saving them up to 40 percent of their harvest. Unemployed women and out-of-school youths in Cotabato, the Philippines, have learned to increase crop yields with organic and bio-intensive farming techniques. These are just a few examples of the small self-contained agriculture, animal and fish production projects providing farmers and fishers with much-needed cash to pay for the basic necessities of life