Monday, August 13, 2012

Olympic hero Farah meets British PM for hunger talks - Yahoo! Eurosport UK

Britain's double Olympic gold hero Mo Farah on Sunday helped launch a "hunger summit" aimed at tackling malnutrition worldwide, held at Prime Minister David Cameron's Downing Street residence.
Fresh from winning the 5,000-metre final on Saturday, Farah joined Cameron, Brazilian football legend Pele, famed Ethiopian distance runner Haile Gebrselassie and Vice President Michel Temer of Brazil, who co-hosted the event.
Taking advantage of the large number of foreign officials gathered in London for the Olympic Games, Cameron led the calls for the international community to help the 25 million children around the world suffering from stunted growth.
The prime minister called Farah and Gebrselassie "enormous role models" who could help raise the profile of the struggle against malnutrition.
"While people around the planet have been enjoying and competing in these Games, there's another world where children don't have enough to eat and never get the start in life they deserve," he said.
"We've a responsibility to tackle this. But the hard truth is that, while we've made huge strides in the last decade on things like education, malnutrition rates have stagnated."
Farah, 29, who was born in Somalia but moved to Britain at age eight, shook hands with the British premier outside Number 10 Downing Street before performing his distinctive "Mobot" celebration.
The athlete and his wife Tania set up the Mo Farah Foundation, which aims to build 50 wells, give a month's supply of food to at least 20,000 people and provide medical care to 40,000 by the end of the year.
He has also set aside the 250,000 pounds ($389,000) he won in a TV show earlier this year for the project -- and there is more to come.
"On the first of September I'm having a big charity auction for the Mo Farah Foundation," he said on Saturday.
Olympians including Ethiopian 10,000 metres gold medallist Tirunesh Dibaba and British long jump winner Greg Rutherford have signed an open letter urging Cameron to "fire the starting gun on the biggest ever push against hunger and malnutrition".
Cameron was set to pledge £120 million ($188 million, 153 million euros) for research into drought-resistant and vitamin-enhanced crops for Africa and South Asia.
The conference comes ahead of the closing ceremony of the London Olympics on Sunday, which will see the Olympic flame extinguished in the British capital and organisers hand over to the Rio 2016 team.

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