HNA Group Forms Strategic Partnership with World Food Programme -- World's Largest Humanitarian Organization

May 22, 2013, 02:03 ET from HNA Group

BEIJING, May 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- On May 22, HNA Group and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) held a signing ceremony at Beijing HNA Plaza for the "Ghana School Feeding" program. HNA Group is the first Chinese firm to carry out a school feeding program in Africa jointly with WFP. Chen Feng, Board Chairman of HNA Group, Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of WFP, Li Qing, Acting Secretary General of Hainan Cihang Foundation, and Wang Weiqin, Director of International Bureau from Ministry of Agriculture of China attended the ceremony.

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As part of the cooperation, HNA will donate 2 million yuan a year to the WFP over a five-year period (10 million yuan in total) once the cooperation agreement is signed. The donation will fund the Take Home Rations project under the "Ghana School Feeding" program, and, for each of the five years, provide nearly 3,900 school-age girls in Ghana continually with rations, assuring that they will no longer go to school hungry.

"There are no boundaries in love and public welfare. HNA looks forward to becoming the driver and practitioner of friendly cooperation between China and Africa and doing its best to provide support and assistance for its friends in Africa. This cooperation between HNA Group and WFP under the "Ghana School Feeding" project aims to help Africa's students avoid hunger, enable them to study with undivided attention, and to retain knowledge they acquire in order to create a better future," said Chen Feng, Board Chairman of HNA Group. "The project is only a small part of HNA's public welfare efforts. Over the past two decades, the group has aggressively participated in philanthropic and public welfare activities, including earthquake relief work, helping the poor, donating to education, and environment protection efforts. HNA has also cooperated closely with UNICEF, the China Foundation for Justice and Courage, and the Hainan Charity Federation, providing funding and goods amounting to more than 800 million yuan. In addition, at its 20th anniversary, the group decided to initially donate single largest stake valued at 3 billion yuan to Hainan Cihang Foundation, in a move to make sure that the group's business makes contributions to the society, just as it has taken from the society," he added.

At the ceremony, Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director at WFP, said, "As a country that has so successfully brought millions of its own people out of poverty, China is perfectly positioned to take a leading role in the global fight against hunger," said Cousin. "We welcome the efforts of HNA Group to invest in the future of Ghanaian children, and we hope their support will serve as an inspiration for others." 

It's not the first time for HNA Group to establish cooperation with African countries. In 2010 and 2011, the "HNA Brightness Action" gave more than 1,400 individuals suffering from cataract in Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Mozambique access to free vision rehabilitation surgery. The move aroused strong social reactions in Africa. HNA Group joined hands with the National Committee of Blindness Prevention (NCBP) and Beijing Tongren Hospital to kick off the "HNA-Qinghai-Tibet Plateau 10 Year Brightness Action" in Qinghai province in July 2004. Since then, nearly 4,500 individuals from several ethnic minorities and suffering from cataract have received free surgery in China as well as Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Mozambique.

HNA Group provided the investment capital for the establishment of Africa World Airlines in Ghana in 2012. The airline is the first African civil airline to be invested in by a Chinese company. Ghana AWA is committed to improving the development of the civil aviation industry in Ghana and across the country, and actively supports and engages in the implementation of the "Ghana School Feeding" program.

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. About 12,000 people work for the organization, most of them in remote areas, directly serving the hungry poor. Each year WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries. 

The Take home rations programme provides school girls with corn, vegetables, edible oil, and salt free of charge, with grain rations worth approximately US$0.30 per meal. The Ghana School Feeding programme provides take-home rations for school girls in the northern part and the Volta region of Ghana, where the enrolment of girls in school is lower than the national average. The Ghana School Feeding programme is just the first step in HNA Group's partnership with United Nations World Food Programme. HNA Group will consider expanding its support to other poor countries across Africa if the partnership succeeds.