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Lauren Bush Named Honorary Spokesperson for UN World Food Program - 2004-04-20


The U.N. World Food Program has named President Bush's niece, Lauren Bush, honorary spokesperson for a new global hunger campaign, which will be aimed at students.

In many ways, Lauren Bush is a fairly normal 19-year-old student at Princeton University in New Jersey, but she is not what you might call the average American girl.

For one thing, she's a top professional model and her Uncle George just happens to be president of the United States.

Ms. Bush is unusual in other ways. She has decided to use her celebrity status to recruit other young people to join the global war on hunger.

Tuesday, she came to U.N. headquarters in New York to take on the job as honorary World Food Program spokesperson. She will focus on promoting a new Web site, waronhunger.org, aimed at raising awareness among students about the battle against hunger in the developing world.

"The Web site is a valuable tool for students, like myself, to collaborate and contribute to bringing about solutions to what I believe is the most important humanitarian crisis in the world today," she said.

Ms. Bush said the Web site is designed to create awareness among students worldwide, inviting them to join the fight against hunger through such activities as school events and national petitions.

Last week, Ms. Bush traveled to Central America for a first-hand look at conditions in some of the poorest countries. She said what she saw was devastating.

"Although hunger is the Number One killer, bigger than malaria, HIV and tuberculosis combined, it is an issue that is too easily overlooked, either because the problem seems too distant, or too big," she added. "I'm here to tell you there is a solution, and as human beings, it is our moral obligation to bring about that solution."

Ms. Bush said her motivations are not political, and she has no plans to act as a lobbyist with her uncle George. She added that she is joining the campaign as an individual, concerned that hunger, and hunger-related diseases, kill 25,000 people a day.

She called on students to join the 19 cents a day campaign or $35 a year, the price of two pop music CDs, to fight hunger.

Officials say the war on hunger Web site will soon be launched in several languages other than English. It is already being replicated for students in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland, and will be expanded in the near future to other economically developed countries.

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