AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam (centre) with AFC Social Responsibility Committee chairman Chung Hwan-kwak (left) and FAO Liaison Officer Ismail Abou Zid on Tuesday.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has called upon Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to join its global fight against hunger.
FAO Liaison Officer Ismail Abou Zid was a special guest at the AFC Social Responsibility Committee meeting on Tuesday and made an impassioned plea for AFC to join other regional football bodies in FAO activities.
AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam, who met privately with Abou Zid after the meeting, responded positively, saying AFC is seeking ways in which it can help FAO combat the scourge of hunger.
“In 1996, the number of hungry people in the world was 864 million,” Abou Zid said. “We thought the situation would improve but now the figure has risen to more than 1.2 billion.
“Our mission is to raise awareness and raise funds in the fight against hunger and we feel the AFC can be a strong partner to help us achieve our goals.”
FAO already has tie-ups with African regional body CAF, Latin America’s CONMEBOL and the European Professional Football Leagues.
Ismail said that five of FAO’s global ambassadors are footballers and they are eager to add an Asian name to their list.
Bin Hammam thanked Abou Zid for his presentation, adding: “AFC places a lot of emphasis on our social responsibility and we are keen to see how we can contribute to FAO’s programmes.”