The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today announced a new partnership with HNA Group – a leading China-based corporation – to fight hunger globally.

A US$1.6 million agreement (10 million RMB) between HNA Group and WFP was signed today in Beijing by WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin and HNA Group Chairman ChenFeng. The funds will help WFP provide take-home rations to promote girls' education under its school meals programme in Ghana.

"As a country that has so successfully brought millions of its own people out of poverty, China is perfectly positioned to take a leading role in the global fight against hunger," said Cousin. "We welcome the efforts of HNA Group to invest in the future of Ghanaian children, and we hope their support will serve as an inspiration for others."

HNA's support to WFP's school meals programme in Ghana is planned as the first stage of an ongoing collaboration. The group has also expressed its interest in helping similar projects in other African countries as well as raising additional funds from its corporate partners, investors, customers and employees.

"HNA is committed to investing in economic development in Africa, particularly through a programme like WFP school meals, which helps children receive the education they need to become active and productive members of society. We're proud to support WFP's work in Ghana, and we look forward to future collaboration around the continent," said Chen Feng.

Over 66 million children of primary school age go to class hungry around the world. It costs on average only US$0.25 per day to feed a child in school through WFP. The HNA Group's donation will help nearly3,900 girls in Ghana attend and stay in school for five years.

WFP provides school meals to more than22 million primary school children in over 60 countries around the world, including to 180,000children in Ghana. School meals encourage parents to send their children to school and help students concentrate better in class. Take-home rations for girls, which feed the whole family, act as an extra incentive for parents to send their daughters to school.

HNA Group is a large diversified corporation focused on industries such as airlines, airports, hotels, logistics, retail, real estate and tourism. Its Hainan Airlines is the country's fourth largest airlineby fleet size and the only Skytrax 5-star airline in mainland China.

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Each year WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries.

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