DUBAI – Internationally acclaimed artist Sami Yusuf appealed today to the media and donors not to forget the people of the Horn of Africa crisis facing hunger and, in some areas, the continuing impact of the worst drought in 60 years.
“Most victims are Somali families, who continue to run away from conflicts and drought affecting their country and, when lucky, find themselves in refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia,” said Sami Yusuf, a Celebrity Partner for the UN World Food Programme (WFP), during a press conference in Dubai. “They never asked to be there; our conscience and humanity cannot allow us to let those people down.”
The British singer and composer dedicated his latest song “Forgotten Promises” to the fight against hunger in the Horn of Africa. The song is at the heart of a unique fundraising campaign entitled LiveFeed. All proceeds will be donated to WFP to help sustain and scale-up its relief efforts in the region, where millions of lives and livelihoods are still being threatened.
Yusuf’s initiative, through his partnership with WFP, aims at reviving donors’ interest to help WFP address the severe food crisis. The multi-talented artist, who has millions of dedicated followers, said he will continue to address the wider cause of fighting hunger through his music.
“I chose this fight because I find it unbearable that one in seven people in the world still goes hungry to bed every night, and that five million children die of hunger-related causes every year,” he said. “Hunger is a solvable problem. From the moment we know that, we have to do something about it.”
LiveFeed offers people the opportunity to fight hunger in the Horn of Africa by downloading the song, or making a direct donation online through www.livefeedafrica.org. With each song downloaded at US$0.99, WFP is able to feed two people in the Horn of Africa for a day.
The CD version of “Forgotten Promises” will hit music stands across the Middle East in the coming days, enabling Yusuf’s fans and ‘LiveFeed’ supporters to help feed five people in the drought-stricken region with each CD purchased.
During the press event hosted by the Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates, the music video of “Forgotten Promises” was revealed for the first time to the media. Directed by music video director Siros Kerdouni and filmed in 16 cities across the globe, the video includes scenes featuring Sami Yusuf playing the piano in the middle of the desert and in the empty streets of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, which were cleared especially for the video shoot.
Also present at the event were senior representatives from the UAE Red Crescent Authority, WFP’s local charity partner for this campaign; Al Aroud Group and RUS Aviation, the campaign’s main sponsors; and JWT, the communications agency behind the LiveFeed creative concept.
WFP is providing food assistance to nearly 8 million people in the Horn of Africa. The situation however remains dire, particularly in central and southern Somalia.
“Significant progress on the ground has been made over the past few months with WFP’s food assistance but we still need to reach out to millions of people and most importantly to help support these communities in their efforts to rebuild their shattered lives,” said Ashraf Hamouda, WFP Head of Partnership and Business Development for the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf region.