Scoring against famine in the Horn of Africa

UNDP goodwill envoys Ronaldo and Zinédine Zidane raise funds to fight the first famine of the 21st century with a friendly game of soccer. Find out where you can watch the match here.

Americans call it “soccer,” but the rest of the world calls it “football.”

Whatever you call it, two of the game’s finest, Ronaldo and Zinédine Zidane, both UN Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassadors, have mobilized friends to play in Hamburg, Germany, today with proceeds going to ease the food crisis in the Horn of Africa.

The Horn of Africa is facing the worst drought in 60 years, prompting the worst famine in 20 years and leaving 13 million people in dire need. More than 2 million have been displaced. Relief efforts have saved thousands of lives, but the situation throughout Somalia remains especially critical, with 4 million people still in crisis and 250,000 facing famine.
Images of the crisis are harrowing.

The annual Match Against Poverty, now in its 9th year of raising awareness of and relief aid, promotes action on the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals. It will be broadcast live on more than 20 national and international television networks.

Two-thirds of the match proceeds will bolster humanitarian and recovery activities in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, where UN agencies are providing emergency food aid, water, shelter and health care. Remaining funds will go toward community development projects focused on sports, youth, education and the environment, and corporate social responsibility among its sponsors and partners.

Find out more about what UNDP is doing in the region, watch the match, or make a donation. See a map of the region and learn more about the interface between disaster and conflict in the developing world.

-Sarah Jackson-Han, United Nations Development Programme