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Press Release 01/60

GLOBAL TEACH IN WILL HELP CHILDREN UNDERSTAND AND FIGHT HUNGER AND MALNUTRITION


Rome, 2 October 2001 - An international coalition of partners will launch a global education campaign on the occasion of World Food Day to encourage children and youth to get actively involved in creating a world free from hunger and malnutrition, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced today. Feeding Minds, Fighting Hunger is an initiative that provides model lesson plans and resource materials on such topics as What are Hunger and Malnutrition? Who is Malnourished? Why is there Hunger and What Can We Do To Help End Hunger?

The global teach in is scheduled to take place in more than 30 countries during the week of 14-20 October. World Food Day is 16 October and commemorates the founding of FAO on that date in 1945, in Quebec City, Canada.

"We expect teachers around the world will adapt and refine the course materials to meet local needs and conditions," said Nutrition Officer Valeria Menza in FAO's Nutrition Division, who helped develop the initiative. "Eventually, lesson plans and activities from educators will be added to the current material so students can share their ideas on how to solve the problem of hunger and malnutrition."

The teaching materials are available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Italian and Spanish via the internet at http://www.feedingminds.org. The lessons are also available in some languages on CD-Rom and in print.

"This is an opportunity for children to learn that widespread hunger and malnutrition are not inevitable in today's world," Menza said. "We have the means to end these problems, but all too often we lack the will and commitment to do so. One of the most important steps we can take is to ensure that children everywhere understand the causes and consequences of hunger and malnutrition, and more importantly, we have to motivate them to find ways to help bring it to an end."

According to FAO, there are some 800 million people in the world who don't have enough to eat to supply their basic energy needs. About 2 billion people cannot afford to eat the variety of foods necessary to meet their vitamin and mineral needs. Hunger and malnutrition prevent the normal growth and development of children and limit learning capacity and productivity of both children and adults. Widespread hunger and malnutrition can even constrain the social and economic development of whole communities and nations.

Editors note
The Feeding Minds Fighting Hunger initiative partners are:
FAO
UNESCO
The World Bank
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Future Harvest
International Education and Resource Network (IEARN)
U.S. National Committee for World Food Day
National Peace Corps Association
Newsweek Education Program
American Federation of Teachers
Arab Nutrition Society
Asia-Pacific Network for Food and Nutrition
Secretariat of the Pacific Community
Federación Latinoamericana de Asociaciones Académicos de Nutrición y Dietética,
Fundación de Vida Rural, Universidad Católica de Chile
Colegio de Profesores de Chile
Kenya Coalition for Action in Nutrition
Southern Africa Teacher's Organisation
Societá Italiana di Nutrizione Umana
European Food Information Council
Associated Schools Project Network
World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts

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For further information, please contact:
The FAO Media Office, tel: +39 06 5705, e-mail: john.riddle@fao.org
Please visit the FAO web site at: http://www.fao.org and the Feeding Minds Fighting Hunger web site at: http://www.feedingminds.org


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