AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam (L) shaking hands with the FAO Assistant Director General, Regional Representative for the Asia and Pacific Region, Hiroyuki Konuma, after signing of the pact.
Kuala Lumpur: AFC has joined hands with the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in a historic partnership to fight hunger.
An agreement to this effect was signed Tuesday at AFC House by AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam and the FAO's Assistant Director General, Regional Representative for the Asia and Pacific Region, Hiroyuki Konuma.
Highlighting the gloomy fact of hunger in Asia and around the world, Bin Hammam opened his welcome address by saying, “By the time I finish my speech in five minutes, 60 children would have died in this world because of hunger-related causes. It is a sorry statistic but a grim reality of the times we live in.”
The AFC chief further added: “Football is played by 1 out of 6 persons on the planet. Starvation also affects 1 out of 6 persons on earth.
It makes me really sad that in a world of plenty, people have to beg for what is a fundamental human right - food.”
Bin Hammam said though AFC couldn’t play a direct role in fighting hunger it could form alliances with organisations like the FAO.
“For me personally, this is one of the most meaningful partnerships AFC has undertaken,” said the AFC President.
“I can assure the Food and Agriculture Organisation that the phenomenal power of Asian football can mobilize the willingness, the decisions and the resources needed to eradicate hunger throughout Asia.”
FAO Assistant Director General Konuma expressed his delight on signing of the pact.
“The signing of this agreement is a historic moment in the fight against hunger and extreme poverty,” said Konuma.
“I would like to express my gratitude to the AFC for joining us in this important and noble partnership.”
The agreement is in keeping with AFC’s long history of supporting social and human development initiatives in Asia, which has received a fresh boost with the launch of its social responsibility program ‘Dream Asia’.