IRB & World Food Programme Continue to Tackle Hunger

Dublin – Ireland, June 21, 2012: Tackle Hunger, The future stars of world Rugby competing at the IRB Junior World Championship in South Africa have united with Rugby players at IRB tournaments around the world to back the Tackle Hunder campaign.

A joint initiative between Rugby’s governing body and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, Tackle Hunger aims to draw attention to the plight of the world’s hungry while raising awareness about the work of WFP and connecting the global Rugby community with the fight against hunger.

This year players at the Championship, the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy, the IRB Nations Cup and IRB Pacific Nations Cup have helped highlight WFP’s work in the Sahel region of West Africa, where millions of people suffer from hunger following the third devastating drought in recent years.

The Tackle Hunger campaign has featured at all IRB tournaments across the world this June, including the IRB Pacific Nations Cup in Japan and Fiji, the IRB Nations Cup in Romania and the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy in USA and players have united as one to show their support.

“The IRB first joined forces with the United Nations World Food Programme at Rugby World Cup 2003 and since then we have enjoyed a strong partnership and global exposure platform to raise awareness of the excellent work of the UN World Food Programe in tackling hunger issues around the world,” said IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset.

“The campaign has featured prominently at all Rugby World Cups since 2003 and a number of major IRB tournaments. In 2005, the Rugby family united at Twickenham for a special battle of the hemispheres match to raise more than US$3 million, vital funds that were donated to WFP’s relief and reconstruction work in areas hit by the Asian tsunami of December 2004.”

“This year, in partnership with the IRB Junior World Championship, Tackle Hunger will enjoy record-breaking exposure at an age grade event via extensive social media platforms, in-stadia exposure and through the 21 broadcasters who are showing all 30 matches live to more than 307 million homes. We will continue to work with WFP to raise awareness of global hunger issues as part of the legacy of our showcase tournaments,” added Lapasset.

UN World Food Programme Regional Director for Southern Africa, Mustapha Darboe said: “The Tackle Hunger partnership has introduced WFP to the global Rugby community and helped to raise awareness about our life-saving work on the frontlines of hunger.”

“Almost one out of every seven people around the world faces a daily struggle to access healthy, nutritious food. Tackle Hunger provides a platform for WFP to showcase the extraordinary work it is doing providing food assistance to close to 100 million people in more than 70 countries, every year.”

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