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Hunger Run 2012 and Crescita SMS Campaign

A race and an SMS Campaign to help those affected by drought and poor harvests in Kenya

Rome, 17 October 2012 - As part of celebrations for World Food Week, Hunger Run 2012 will take place on Sunday 21 October 2012 starting at 10:00 am. The event, formerly known as the Run for Food race, has been renamed to emphasize the Rome-based agencies common goal of eradicating hunger.

Hunger Run 2012 consists of a 10 km competitive race as well as a 5 km fun run (or walk) through the historic centre of Rome, starting on Viale delle Terme di Caracalla and ending at the Stadium, Terme di Caracalla, in front of FAO headquarters.

Filippo La Rosa, Diplomatic Advisor to the Mayor of Rome, opened the press conference with a message from Gianni Alemanno: "Roma Capitale is honoured to be a part of this initiative, along with the UN Rome-based Food Agencies (FAO, IFAD, WFP) and Bioversity International. This initiative is worthy of praise because it helps to keep attention on the tragedy that today still condemns almost 900 million people to suffer from hunger. On Sunday 21st October, on the occasion of the Hunger Run, I invite Rome to run through the streets of the capital, remembering that each of us, in his or her own small way, through participation and commitment, can make their own personal contribution to the fight against hunger and poverty."

Emile Frison, Director General of Bioversity International speaking on behalf of the four Rome-based agencies FAO, IFAD, WFP and Bioversity International said: "The Hunger Run is a chance for the people of Rome to connect to the international agencies in Rome and be part of the overall effort of ending hunger. Hunger and poverty, exacerbated by a changing climate and poor harvests, urgently need long-term sustainable solutions for a food secure future for everyone."

Hunger Run 2012 is joining forces with Crescita SMS Campaign - coordinated by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs - to raise funds to improve the food and nutrition security of some of the most vulnerable people on our planet.

Elisabetta Belloni, Director General for Development Cooperation, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that food security is crucial to ensure stability and security in the modern world. She also underlined the commitment of Italy in promoting the implementation of integrated policies on nutrition, water, land, environment to ensure sustainable development. Belloni then presented the Crescita campaign: "As last year, the funds raised will benefit the women of Mwingi district in Kenya, an area severely affected by drought. The project is now moving from emergency aid to development, and includes specific measures to improve the conditions of women, since they play a fundamental role in the rural economy and for food security.

Valentina Vezzali, Olympic gold medal fencing champion, spokeperson for the Crescita campaign said: "I am proud to have joined this campaign because I am convinced that support for African women is the key to overcoming poverty. As an athlete, as a woman, as a mother, I believe that solidarity and international cooperation are urgently needed if we are to help women from countries where every day is a struggle to survive."

Proceeds from the Hunger Run 2012 and the Crescita SMS Campaign will be donated to a field project in Kenya where FAO, IFAD, WFP and Bioversity International will be working with poor communities affected by drought and poor harvests.

From 21 to 28 October, you can donate 2 euros to the Crescita SMS Campaign by texting 45506 from your Tim, Vodafone, Wind, 3, Poste Mobile, CoopVoce or Noverca mobile phone. Alternatively, call 45506 from a landline (Telecom Italia, Fastweb, TeleTu) to donate 2 or 5 euros.

Laura Duchi, Presidente of the Gruppo Sportivo Bancari Romani, said: "We have worked for seven years alongside FAO, IFAD, WFP and Bioversity International to organize the Hunger Run. We are proud, together with the Rome-based international agencies, to help raise awareness of the fact that hundreds of millions of people around the world suffer from hunger, and to raise funds for poor communities in developing countries afflicted by hunger."

The run is being organized by Gruppo Sportivo Bancari Romani in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); the International Fund of Agricultural Development (IFAD); the World Food Programme (WFP); Bioversity International, and the FAO Staff Coop with the support of Expo Milano 2015, Roma Capitale and the Region of Lazio.

The initiative also enjoys the sponsorship of the Youth and United Nations Global Alliance (YUNGA), the United Nations Federal Credit Union (UNFCU), Acea and Federazione Italiana Atletica leggera (FIDAL).

Foto: ©FAO/Giulio Napolitano
Raising awareness of the fact that hundreds of millions of people in the world suffer from hunger

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