May 16, 2011 – Former Italian football star and FAO Goodwill Ambassador, Roberto Baggio, concluded on Friday his visit to Peru during which he experienced firsthand the support given by the European Union (EU) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to over 10,000 families affected by the floods that struck the Cusco and Puno regions of Peru in January 2010.
1993 European Footballer of the Year, Baggio, travelled to Peru as part of the “Professional Football Against Hunger” Campaign, a joint initiative of the Association of European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL), FAO and the Humanitarian Aid Department of the European Commission (ECHO). This campaign seeks to raise awareness of the unacceptable levels of hunger in the world.
During his visit to the Matinga and Quillihuay communities in the Cusco region on 11 May, Baggio met with small-scale farmers and alpaca breeders who have benefited from ECHO and FAO support. “The assistance given to these families has helped them to recover from the terrible tragedy they suffered,” said the footballer. ?I am happy to have spent time with them and to be a part of this joint effort between FAO and the European Union?, he added.
After returning from his visit to the Cusco region, Baggio spent time with children from Oscar Ibanez’s Football School, in Lima where he demonstrated the football skills which have made him one of the sport’s legendary figures.
?Football has great potential to mobilize people. Through this campaign we call for their support to the almost 1 billion people worldwide who suffer hunger, 52 million of whom live in Latin America and the Caribbean,” said Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, CEO of the EPFL.
Note from the editor
Roberto Baggio: is considered one of the best football players in history. In 1993 he received the Golden Ball as European Footballer of the Year and was elected by sports journalists as the World’s Best Player. Since 2002, he is an FAO Goodwill Ambassador. In 2009, Baggio received the Peace Summit Award in recognition for his work towards world peace and his international humanitarian work.
Professional Football Against Hunger: The EPFL and FAO signed on April 2008 an Agreement of Cooperation that culminated with the creation of the Professional Football Against Hunger Campaign and the organization of the successful European Match Day Against Hunger, held on 20-22 March 2009 (I edition) and on 22-24 October 2010 (II Edition). http://www.europeanleagues.com/fao/
ECHO: The European Union (EU) is the world’s largest humanitarian donor. Many millions of people are helped each year through the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department’s (ECHO) 200 relief partner organizations: non-governmental organizations, the Red Cross family, and UN agencies like the UNHCR, FAO and the WFP. The EU constantly strives to improve its aid to third countries struck by natural disaster or conflict in order to make it more effective. ECHO reflects this objective. Its assistance is based on the humanitarian principals of neutrality, non-discrimination and impartiality, which sets it apart from other types of aid given by the European Commission. The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) was established in 1992. In 2010, the coordination of European Union civil protection assistance to crisis victims also became part of its responsibilities. www.ec.europa.eu/echo
FAO: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy. FAO is also a source of knowledge and information. It helps developing countries and countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all. Since its founding in 1945, FAO has focused special attention on developing rural areas, home to 70 percent of the world’s poor and hungry people. www.fao.org
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