In 1984, a documentary originally aired by the British Broadcasting Corporation dramatized the devastation resulting from Africa’s continuing famine and drought.  The program was the catalyst for an unprecedented outpouring of concern and compassion around the world.

In the wake of the broadcast, people banded together to form groups such as “The Hunger Project” and “End Hunger Network.”  Churches, small businesses, and schools throughout America organized drives to gather money and supplies, and transport them to famine-stricken areas.  One of the most creative programs for action was developed by musician Bob Geldof.  He invited Great Britain’s leading rock stars to form “Band Aid” and recorded a special song, Do They Know It’s Christmas? All the proceeds from the sale of the record, amounting to more than $10 million, were donated to American relief.

Recording artists in the United States, Canada, Latin America and other nations followed the British lead. “U>S.A. for Africa,” which included stars such as Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, recorded We Are the World, which quickly became the top international hit of 1985.  The grand finale of the music industry’s efforts was the 16-hour “Live Aid Concert,” staged in July 1985 in London and Philadelphia.  Contributions were solicited from the largest TV audience in history (1.5 billion people in 160 countries), and more than $40 million dollars was raised for the fight against hunger.

Part of the money earned by the recordings and concerts is earmarked for emergency food and medical supplies.  Another part will be used to help in the long-term struggle to eliminate the causes of hunger.  Numerous programs to irrigate arid land and provide agricultural education are already in place.  They are supported by Western governments, international relief organizations and various agencies of the United Nations.

The U.S. stamp that urges Americans to “help end hunger” is being issued in conjunction with World Food Day.  It was designed by Jerry Pinkney of Croton-on-Hudson, New York.  He is also the designer of the Black Heritage USA series, which began in 1978.


About the Author: Nicetas Juanillo

Writing makes me happy away from home. My website is where you can find my tips about lifestyle, health and other issues. I also have books on my site that you can read to know more

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