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World Vision Taiwan announces 2010 30 Hour Famine Ambassadors (6/3/10)

World Vision Taiwan has appointed celebrities Elva Hsiao and Stanley Huang as the 2010 30 Hour Famine Ambassadors. Today they will be working in studio to shoot still photos, film a TV commercial, and record a radio advertisement to promote the campaign.
 
Leading up to the Hero Rally on August 7-8, Ms. Hsiao and Mr. Huang will be calling people’s attention to the needs of children affected by a range of humanitarian crises at home and abroad, especially the climate related disasters. They will urge the people of Taiwan to contribute towards bringing relief to those who need it most.
 
Next month Ms. Hsiao is embarking on a project visit to Kenya to show her concern for the hungry children, while her counterpart, Mr. Huang, will visit Typhoon Morakot affected communities to see the progress of reconstruction and highlight the ongoing needs of the affected.
 
Ms. Hsiao, a first time spokesperson for World Vision, is looking forward to her role and upcoming trip. She said in an interview she had always hoped for a chance to exert her influence as a celebrity to help the needy. She appreciates participating in such a unique opportunity, and is not worried about the discomfort and possible cultural shock the trip may bring.  
 
Mr. Huang, as the 30 Hour Famine Ambassador in 2004, has visited Swaziland and Lesotho in Africa, and led a volunteer team to the Typhoon Mindulle disaster area in Taichung Township to help the affected community to clean the mud and debris. This year, Mr. Huang will once again lead a group of volunteers to help Typhoon Morakot survivors to rebuild their homes.
 
World Vision has recognized climate change emerging as a major threat to the world’s most vulnerable people and it is clear that the effects of climate change disproportionately affect the poor.  With reduced food and water security, worsened nutrition level, increased incidence and intensity of flooding and drought, and rapidly spreading diseases, impacts of climate change are threatening sustainable growth in developing world. 
 
The food crisis of the past two years has shown how fragile the global food system has become. For example in Kenya, long-lasting droughts and erratic rainfall patterns reduced the staple food corn production by 20% in 2008 and caused an estimated 3.8 million people to remain highly- to extremely food insecure in 2009, according to World Vision.
 
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) estimates that unchecked, by 2080 climate change may increase the number of malnourished people by 600 million and increase the number of people facing water scarcity by 1.8 billion. The majority of the affected will be children.
 
Health problems related to climate change are likely to affect millions of people around the world through increases in malnutrition; increased deaths, disease and injury due to weather-related disasters; an increase in the number of cases of diarrhea; and changes in the spread of vector-borne diseases.
 
According to the UN statistics, out of the 245 disasters in 2009, 224 (over 90%) were weather related, accounting for 55 million people out of the 58 million people affected, 7,000 out of 8,900 of those killed and US$15 billion out of the US$19 billion in economic damages.
 
In Taiwan, climate change is also taking its toll. The country has experienced unprecedented rains in mountainous areas and prolonged droughts in the south over recent years. Typhoons and floods have taken more lives and caused more massive devastations than ever. Typhoon Morakot alone impacted approximately 200,000 people, leaving thousands of families still in displacement and vulnerable indigenous communities struggling to recover. 
 
For the past 20 years, World Vision Taiwan’s 30 Hour Famine has brought relief to children and families affected by food crisis, wars, HIV/AIDS and natural disasters in Taiwan and around the world. 
 
As climate change is compounding the existing challenges in humanitarian relief, World Vision is calling for more resources and support to help address the rising needs and build back communities stronger than before. 
 
This year, the World Vision Taiwan aims raise NT$172 million (US$5.3 million) through the 30 Hour Famine to support emergency relief projects in 32 countries, including Typhoon Morakot reconstruction in Taiwan, food aid in Kenya, children’s feeding in Niger, Typhoon Ketsana responses in Philippines and Vietnam, drought relief in Guatemala, and earthquake responses in Haiti and China.
 
In addition to giving financial support, people are encouraged to participate in the DIY Famine anytime from now till the end of September and Hero Rally on August 7-8. 
 
Since the launch of the DIY Famine in January, over 270 groups (50,000 youths and adults) have signed up for the DIY Famine. As of today, Ming Dao High School in Taichung has organized the famine group with the largest attendance of 3,402 participants. Mr. Quan-Yiao Ji, who has been the first group leader to sign up for the DIY Famine in five consecutive years, chose to skip lunch on the 28th of every month and pray with his church members for people in need. 
 
To sign up for the DIY Famine or donate to the cause:  www.30hf.org.tw/
 

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