ISLAMABAD: The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is the world’s largest humanitarian organization which provides life-saving food in emergencies and nutritious supplements for millions of chronically malnourished people in 80 countries every year. Every day WFP distribute tones of food and other aid all over the world and have launched a global campaign aimed at ensuring the world’s 400 million hungry children are fed and educated. In Pakistan WFP runs a school feeding programme across the nation in over 3000 schools.
In January 2007, Unilever globally joined forces with WFP for a three-year partnership to improve the nutrition and health of poor, undernourished school-aged children through WFP’s school feeding programme. Blue Band and WFP, with the shared goal of reducing hunger; want to spread the vision of health and nutritional values to every individual in Pakistan.
“Unilever believes that every child deserves the nutrition and hygiene he or she needs to develop to their full physical and mental potential. Blue Band’s partnership with the World Food Programme fits in well with Unilever’s mission to add Vitality to Life which unites our business and brings together our portfolio, partnerships and people.” – Ehsan Malik – Chairman, Unilever Pakistan Ltd.
Last year Blue Band contributed Rs. 1.8 million from its Ramazan sales and Unilever employees participated in the Global walk through personal donations.
“This partnership makes perfect sense,” said Wolfgang Herbinger, WFP Representative in Pakistan. “Starting last year with its assistance to WFP during Ramazan and later in walk-the-world, Unilever has demonstrated its commitment to helping the poor. The two major players in the food world, Unilever, one of the biggest food producers, and WFP, the largest humanitarian agency, are joining forces to battle against child hunger.”
This year, thousands of children who know what it feels like to be hungry took to the streets, together with caring citizens, in a worldwide walk to raise awareness about child hunger. From Indonesia to Guatemala, more than 250,000 people in 70 countries participated in End Hunger: Walk the World, an event organized by the United Nations World Food Programme together with its largest corporate partners, TNT and Unilever.
Across 24 time zones and in more than 250 locations, initial reports indicate the global walk raised more than $500,000 –enough to feed two million children for one day- through WFP’s school feeding programme.
“End Hunger: Walk the World” evolved from an initiative of TNT employees in Asia in 2003, with Unilever joining as an organizer in 2007. Over the past five years, the event has mobilized approximately one million participants and raised funds to feed over 100,000 children in school for one year.
Unilever Pakistan with its partners WFP and TNT organized walks on the 31st of May at its 3 factories: Walls and Unilever Pakistan Foods Factory in Lahore and the Khanewal Tea Factory.
There were over 800 participants and employees from the factories and the head office donated to the WFP through its Meal for A Meal drive. The End Hunger initiative was a week long drive starting from awareness programmes, followed by the Walk and culminating with the collection of donations. The total amount collected was then matched by Blue Band.
The Walk the world initiative marks not only Unilever’s commitment to the WFP partnership but is also a reflection of its employee’s passion and dedication to the “End hunger” cause. Following the walk Unilever and WFP will be working on further initiatives to fulfill their objective of raising awareness and generating funds for the needy in Pakistan.