AC Milan star Kaka appointed to the UN World Food Programme

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> AC Milan's Kaka has been named an ambassador against hunger by the UN World Food Programme.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:04 IST
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AC Milan's Kaka has been named an ambassador against hunger by the UN World Food Programme. The 22-year-old Brazilian, a member of the 2002 World Cup-winning squad, is the Rome-based agency's youngest ambassador in its campaign against global hunger. Kaka, whose performances at the age of 22 helped AC Milan win Italy's Serie A last season, was appointed as the United Nations World Food Programme's youngest Ambassador against Hunger on Tuesday. Spotlight on global hunger Kaka will use his profile as a successful international sportsman to help put the spotlight on global hunger. "When they invited me to become part of this programme, I was very happy because it's something that I can do. Often, people don't know how to help even if they want to. Now I know how to help and I know the way I can help. My country also experiences this problem and it's a powerful feeling to be able to help," said Kaka. Working with WFP will not be the first time that the Brazilian international has come face-to-face with hunger. Struggling past As a junior player honing his skills at Sao Paulo Futbol Club's celebrated soccer academy, the young Kaka grew up with poor, undernourished children from the city's urban slums, each one dreaming of escaping poverty through soccer. "Nowadays, football players are icons around the world and they can help in different ways by mobilizing just one player or many players and by using their image to get people together to fight hunger," Kaka said. As the world's biggest food aid agency, WFP is playing a leading role in meeting the first United Nations' Millennium Development Goal for the 21st century: halving the proportion of hungry people around the world by 2015. Hunger and malnutrition claim more than 10 million lives each year, more than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. It also stops millions of children growing to their full potential. Eradicating hunger is therefore key to global development. Young ambassador Kaka has already asked WFP to organise a field visit to war-torn Angola, where the agency's projects are helping more than one million former soldiers, internally displaced persons and refugees rebuild their lives and their country. The Brazilian is the youngest among several international sports stars who are donating their time and celebrity status to help WFP defeat global hunger. Other sportsmen supporting the agency include the world's fastest man over 26 miles, marathon record holder Paul Tergat of Kenya, cricket's record breaking wicket-taker Muttiah Muralitharan from Sri Lanka and former Rugby World Cup winning captains Nick Farr-Jones and David Kirk. (AP)