Legendary gymnast Li Ning nominated WFP's first Chinese anti-hunger ambassador

10:30, October 14, 2009      

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Legendary gymnast Li Ning on Tuesday was nominated by the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) as the agency's first Chinese anti-hunger ambassador.

Li Ning, owner of six world championship titles and three Olympic Gold medals, said at a ceremony held by the WFP in Beijing: "although we in China have left behind the times of hunger, we still remember the feeling of being hungry and the warmth of being helped."

"It is a great privilege to have Li Ning on WFP's team," said Sheila Sisulu, WFP's deputy executive director. "He knew the pain of hunger and worked hard to become a world champion and is now a dedicated humanitarian."

Chinese Vice Minister of Agriculture Niu Dun also announced at the ceremony that Chinese government had contributed 3 million U.S. dollars to WFP's food assistance projects around the world.

Li Ning, as WFP's ambassador, will visit Bangladesh later this year to oversee how these funds are being used.

After achieving amazing success in gymnastics arena, 46-year-old Li is running China's biggest sports wear company after his name.

When WFP came to China 30 years ago, one third Chinese had not enough to eat. Nowadays, China is capable of feeding its 1.3 billion population," said Anthea Webb, director of WFP's China Office.

In cooperation with Chinese government over the past three decades, WFP has donated more than 1 billion worth of food products to China, including an emergency aid to people who survived a devastating earthquake that jolted China's southwestern Sichuan Province in May last year.

China became a WFP donor at the end of 2005 after WFP ended its food aid to the world's most populous country. So far China has contributed more than 33 million U.S. dollars to WFP's overseas projects.

Source: Xinhua
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