The Association of European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) signed a cooperation agreement yesterday with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Lisbon, committing to promote a series of initiatives aimed at raising public awareness of food security issues and the fight against hunger.
Under this agreement, the EPFL, an association made up of 27 members and associated member Leagues, including more than 900 football clubs across Europe, will assist the FAO through promoting some of their initiatives aiming to mitigate world wide hunger.
The two organizations believe football will play a powerful advocacy role and assist to mobilize resources in the fight against hunger and achievement of the UN’s first Millennium Development Goal: to reduce the proportion of people who suffer from hunger and poverty in the world by 2015.
Several top football players have already committed to assist FAO in its fight against hunger, including Italy’s Roberto Baggio, former star of Fiorentina and Juventus, and Spain’s Raul Gonzalez, captain of Real Madrid. Both footballers are FAO Goodwill Ambassadors.
Last month, a similar agreement was signed between FAO and the Confederation of African Football (CAF), who are supporting FAO campaigns such as national and regional Food Security Programs, TeleFood projects and cultural and sporting events held to develop agriculture, nutrition and the environment.
These programs draw attention to the plight of more than 850 million people suffering from hunger around the world, and raise funds to support FAO micro-projects designed to help families and poor communities to produce their own food.
2500 of these small-scale projects already exist in over 130 countries. They include school gardens where students learn how to grow their own crops and breed livestock, and also benefit from meals prepared at the school from the food they produce.