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Dec 21, 2011

USAID's FWD Uses Social Media, NFL & Celebrity Links to Raise Awareness about Famine in the Horn of Africa

Famine, War & Drought (FWD) 
On 21 December 2011 the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) issued a press release on how it had enlisted the support of the the National Football League (NFL) to generate public awareness about extreme famine, war and drought in the Horn of Africa.  This public outreach was done by Famine, War and Drought (FWD), a multimedia, national public awareness campaign supported by USAID and the Ad Council to educate the public about the work of humanitarian organizations and USAID's Feed the Future initiative.  This initiative is targeted at "fostering better farming, stronger markets and greater resilience to climate shocks."


FWD was launched in October 2011.  Its social media campaign has received "over 117 million social media fact shares and reached 18 million people on Twitter and 50 million on Facebook. Previous Public Service Announcements (PSAs) for the campaign have featured Dr. Jill Biden, actors Uma Thurman, Josh Hartnett, Geena Davis and Chanel Iman and writer and television host Anthony Bourdain."

The NFL taped FWD PSAs in November 2011 featuring:

  • Ray Lewis (Baltimore Ravens); 
  • Asante Samuel (Philadelphia Eagles); 
  • Nnamdi Asomugha (Philadelphia Eagles);
  • Maurice Jones-Drew (Jacksonville Jaguars); 
  • Greg Jennings (Green Bay Packers); 
  • Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals); 
  • Josh Freeman (Tampa Bay Buccaneers); 
  • Lamarr Woodley (Pittsburgh Steelers); 
  • Matt Forte (Chicago Bears); 
  • Jeff Saturday (Indianapolis Colts)

The NFL PSAs were developed by the Ad Council and a volunteer advertising agency R/GA.  They directed supporters to donate $10 to a consortium of humanitarian organizations working in the Horn of Africa, comprised of American Refugee Committee, CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Mercy Corps, Save the Children, UNICEF USA, World Vision and World Food Program USA.


According to Dr. Rajiv Shah, USAID Administrator, these donations are critical to fighting famine in the Horn of Africa especially since this "is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world, impacting more than 13 million people. .... As lives and livelihoods are threatened, USAID and its partners are working to increase awareness of the crisis and urge people to act and support relief efforts."

About Margaret


CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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