NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- HRH Princess Haya Al Hussein traveled to Kenya yesterday in her role as a UN Messenger of Peace to encourage an effective local and global response to catastrophic food shortages.
"As many as 20 million people in the region around the Horn of Africa are suffering from food shortages that have been exacerbated by the prolonged drought. One in every 10 Kenyans needs outside help, and malnutrition rates among young children are rising at an alarming rate," Princess Haya said. "We must do more."
Princess Haya's visit included meetings with President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to discuss strategies to meet Kenya's food needs. She also received briefings at an urban school feeding programme, the Haruma Nursing Home Maternal and Child Health project and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, the largest ongoing private effort to promote agricultural production in Africa
The trip, organized with help from the World Food Programme (WFP), was in keeping with Princess Haya's focus on alleviating hunger and malnutrition within the timetable established by the UN Millennium Development Goals.
The WFP, the UN's food assistance agency, is working with the government of Kenya and humanitarian partners to provide food to 3.8 million Kenyans. In response to the growing food crisis, the WFP expanded its school meals programme to reach nearly 1.2 million Kenyan children.
While in Nairobi, Princess Haya also visited the Mathare Youth Sports Association in support of the UN Sport for Development and Peace programme. The youth group uses sports training to promote overall education and to help Kenyan children stay in school.
Princess Haya, the wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, was named a UN Messenger of Peace by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2007. She also serves on the International Olympic Committee.
Her humanitarian work is guided by her family legacy and her respect for human dignity. Her father, HM Late King Hussein Bin Talal of Jordan, was devoted to the cause of peace and sought to bridge differences between people. Her mother, HM Late Queen Alia Al Hussein, worked tirelessly to assist the underprivileged, especially impoverished women and children.
Their legacy lives in Princess Haya's work to address poverty, hunger and inadequate health care. Her efforts are motivated by the belief that extreme poverty and its associated problems strip individuals of their human dignity and encourage violence.
SOURCE Office of HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein