TORONTO, March 15 /PRNewswire/ - George Stroumboulopoulos was today named "Canadian Ambassador Against Hunger" for the world's biggest humanitarian agency, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).
The critically-acclaimed broadcast veteran and host of CBC's George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight and The Strombo Show, was confirmed as the first Canadian WFP Ambassador upon his return from a visit to Pakistan, where WFP is feeding hungry communities to rebuild their lives after last year's devastating floods.
"Access to food isn't a privilege, it's a right. It's not about politics or partisanship. It's about people in need and our responsibility as humans to be there for one another," George told his audience during the March 15 taping of George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight. "I am excited to be able to talk about the great work that the World Food Programme is doing around the world to help end hunger."
"George's passion and deep humanitarian commitment, coupled with his broad public appeal, make him a powerful voice for the millions of hungry all over the world," said Nancy E. Roman, WFP's Executive in Charge of Public Policy and Private Partnerships, adding that his active use of social media will be highly effective for informing and engaging people about hunger issues.
Stroumboulopoulos visited WFP operations in Pakistan last month and saw the destructive effects of last year's floods. During his visit, he witnessed how WFP food assistance is helping to feed families while they rebuild their homes and livelihoods. In Sindh province, Stroumboulopoulos met mothers whose children received highly nutritious foods through WFP child feeding programmes.
"For most of us we only see the effects of disasters through the prism of media. The effects of the floods, earthquakes and conflicts and it can all be overwhelming. But getting to be on the ground you see firsthand, the people working together to provide nutritious food to those in need and the empowering of those affected to rebuild," Stroumboulopoulos said of his recent trip to Pakistan.
A television special documenting Stroumboulopoulos' trip to Pakistan will air on George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight, April 1.
Stroumboulopoulos has earned a reputation for being one of the most trusted and respected journalists in Canada, with a track record of involvement in hunger and other humanitarian issues. He has worked with a number a charitable initiatives including Make Poverty History and the Canada Africa Partnership on AIDS and was co-host and executive producer of "Canada for Haiti", a live benefit that raised over $27 million dollars for Haitian earthquake victims.
"George will be an important advocate for WFP in Canada, to help raise the alarm in the fight against hunger" said Stephen Lewis Former UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, who made a guest appearance on George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight earlier this evening when the WFP Ambassador announcement was made.
"Stroumboulopoulos has already mobilized his fans and followers to help him feed hungry school children through WeFeedback.org, WFP's new, innovative social media initiative based on the premise that if we all do a little, we can achieve a lot. Using the unique online Feedback Calculator, so far George and his network have transformed their favorite foods into donations, enough to feed more than 2380 children.
You can help George feed hungry children by going to www.wefeedback.org/strombo or text WFP to 45678 (Canada only) to make a $5 donation - enough to feed a child in school for an entire month.
Note to broadcast news directors: For images from George's trip to Pakistan, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Each year, on average, WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries. In 2010 Canada was the second largest single country donor to WFP, providing CAN $297 million in donations.
Follow WFP media issues on Twitter: @wfp_media
To donate $5 in Canada to help feed hungry children text WFP to 45678
/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/
SOURCE United Nations World Food Programme