5 December 2003, Roma -- "The Spanish people are one of our strongest allies in the fight against hunger," said David Harcharik, FAO Deputy Director-General, commenting on the final sum raised during a Telefood Gala broadcast by Radiotelevisión Española (RTVE) in late November.

Some 8 500 people gave money during the five-hour gala event, aired on RTVE on November 19th, donating an estimated 750 000 euros. All funds raised will go directly to agricultural micro-projects in developing countries.

"Thanks to its generosity and spirit of solidarity, Spain has become the second largest contributor to FAO's Telefood campaign," Harcharik said.

The Gala, broadcast live for the seventh year in succession, was based on the theme of an international alliance against hunger and was supported by personalities from the stage and screen including Israeli singer Noa, recently named FAO Ambassador in the fight against hunger.

Famous faces from the worlds of politics, journalism and entertainment leant their voices to the event and helped raise public awareness of the importance of the "International Alliance Against Hunger", FAO's official theme for 2004.

The Telefood Campaign

Telefood was established by FAO in 1997 to increase public awareness about the problem of world hunger and to raise funds to improve food security in small communities in the developing world.

To date, Telefood has raised more than 12 million dollars which have financed 1 500 projects in 120 countries across the world.

The success of Telefood projects is in their small scale - their budget is never over 10 000 dollars - so they remain sustainable, helping to produce food for families and communities.

The international community's generosity has allowed Telefood to launch a number of projects including:
  • Poultry production in Iraq where some 350 households, mainly women-headed, have been able to raise income and improve the quality of their diet;
  • school gardens in New Delhi, India to improve the nutritional intake of both pupils and teachers;
  • a woman's cooperative group in Mali where the women were able to boost their incomes by selling smoked fish, made with equipment funded by Telefood.
The Gala's success was also thanks to the contribution of two co-sponsors - Fundación Telefónica, who provided 300 call operators to collect the funds during the programme, and Finance Group Banesto who set up bank account number 700270 which remains active to collect future Telefood donations.
Nuria Felipe Soria
Information Officer, FAO
(+39) 06 570 55899