WFP appoints Arabic Soprano Barhoum as advocate

Zeina Barhoum - Photo

DUBAI — The United Nations World Food Programme announced the appointment of Artist, Soprano, and humanitarian supporter Zeina Barhoum as its newest advocate.

This announcement comes at a time when the world is in desperate need of humanitarian advocates to highlight the situation of less fortunate communities facing the devastating implications of COVID19 on their lives and livelihoods, while already suffering from serious hunger and food insecurity.

As well as being one of the regions most talented and celebrated Opera artists, Zeina has become a respected humanitarian voice and presence advocating for causes such as hunger, conflict, displacement and others.

Since 2017, she has been supporting WFP, using her talent, voice and passion to draw attention to the importance of fighting hunger in vulnerable communities and to amplify the voices of people and communities affected by food insecurity and hunger in marginalized and refugee settings.

Her contribution to the ‘If music be the food of love’ initiative helped WFP give a voice to the hopes and dreams of Syrian refugee children in Jordan as well as Jordanian children from underprivileged communities.

On her announcement as WFP Advocate, Zeina said: “Taking on the responsibility of representing an organization such as the World Food Programme as Advocate can be quite a challenge; but it gives great pride to have been granted the opportunity to try and make a difference — hand in hand with the diligent teams working very hard towards pulling every string and relieving world hunger.”

Although the international community has committed to ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition by 2030, some 821 million people still go to bed hungry every night all over the world.

That is one in nine people worldwide who still do not have enough to eat. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating effects around the world, more people are being pushed into food insecurity and hunger. Right now, WFP analyses show that more than quarter of a billion people (265 million) could be facing acute hunger by the end of 2020.

Mageed Yahia, director of the World Food Programme Office in the UAE and representative to the GCC, said: “We welcome Zeina onboard and believe that she will be a great advocate for WFP and for the communities we serve who are stricken by hunger and food insecurity and whose conditions are only worsening with the effects of COVID19.

“Now more than ever, we need the passion and commitment of advocates like Zeina to help us focus attention on these vulnerable communities and bring their stories to the world. We look forward to working with Zeina in these difficult and unprecedented times and through the — hopefully — better times to come.” — SG