Italy's largest producer of dairy products, Parmalat, and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (UN FAO) have signed a cooperative agreement to fight world hunger together. Towards this end, Parmalat will provide US $ 1.5 million over a period of three years to sponsor FAO activities aimed at reducing world hunger.
This initiative is in keeping with FAO's present drive to involve the private sector in meeting the agenda laid down by the 1996 World Food Summit. The agenda states that, by 2015, the number of hungry people in the world should be reduced by at least half the present estimate.
Speaking of this latest venture, FAO director general Jacques Diouf said, "If we really want to reduce the number of hungry people in the world in a way that can be sustained, then it is essential that the private sector get involved. I am pleased that Parmalat is making this commitment to work with FAO, because it reflects a shared understanding of the seriousness of the problem and the need for alternative forms of international assistance to agriculture."
According to the agreement, Parmalat will finance FAO activities under TeleFood, an awareness-building campaign involving public figures and celebrities. Efforts by FAO's ambassadors to fight hunger in different parts of the world will also be sponsored by Parmalat. The company's president Calisto Tanzi says this agreement with FAO is "a very important step. In this way, we at Parmalat are able to contribute to the people who are most in need in the world."
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