As a Messenger of Peace for the United Nations, issues of tolerance, harmony, and goodwill are close to HRH Princess Haya bint Hussein’s heart. And this week the royal delivered a speech to the World Food Programme reiterating her humanitarian missive, adding we must “give people something to live for”. HRH spoke at the non-profit organization’s base in Italy on Monday, she revealed on her social media pages, as part of the board’s annual session.
While HRH’s address has not yet been released in full, Princess Haya shared a snippet with her 400,000 Instagram followers. “Today I had the privilege and honor of being invited to speak at the Executive Board Meeting for the World Food Programme at their headquarters in Rome,” she wrote, alongside a snapshot of the gathering. “As your UN Messenger of Peace, I feel unequivocally that today my obligation is to demand that we recognize that peace needs to be fought for, and that now is the time to fight, and that perhaps the best way to fight is to give people something to live for.”
Princess Haya, who became Messenger of Peace in 2007, has also served as a goodwill ambassador for the World Food Programme. As part of her work, HRH – who is married to HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai – helped launch a special fund earlier this year for those in need. The initiative, announced in January, allows the quick purchase and shipping of high-energy biscuits to those facing sudden disaster or emergency.
“Princess Haya’s generosity is a lifesaver. When an emergency happens, WFP must deliver food quickly, and this effort will put our emergency response into another gear so we can save lives anywhere, anytime,” said WFP executive director David Beasley at the time. “Princess Haya is a true champion for people facing hunger and poverty, and our appreciation for her dedication and support for WFP grows each year.”
In 2015, Princess Haya received the WFP Hunger Hero Award in 2015, and is also the chairperson of the International Humanitarian City in Dubai. The royal has previously spoken of her desire to tackle poverty and hunger around the world, telling the World Government Summit in Dubai last year that “the poor and the hungry do not think about anything but how to gain their daily bread”. “If we don’t move on that then we lose our humanity, something that is worse than the disaster itself.”