By: Alex Pena
Hip-hop star Curtis Jackson, more commonly known as “50 cent,” teamed up with the World Food Program (WFP) on Wednesday to get a glimpse into the fight against hunger in Somalia, which is often referred to as the most dangerous country in the world.
Jackson took a flight to Dolow, Somalia, along the southern border region with Kenya. That’s where he witnessed thousands of women and children who have fled their homes to avoid drought and conflict.
“What I am seeing is devastating — these women and children have risked everything to come to this Somalia camp, just to get food,” he said in a press release from the WFP. “They need our help.”
He was able to witness a screening for malnutrition in the camp, as well as visit a nearby school. On the way back from Somalia, Jackson also stopped into Nairobi, Kenya’s largest slum, Kibera, where he visited an orphanage.
“I want to do my part so they get food and education. I hope more people will join me to help end this devastating situation,” he said.
Jackson is widely popular in Africa, and has performed multiple times in the region.
“On a previous trip, he was touched by the level of need here,” said Challiss McDonough, Senior spokesperson at the WFP, who spent time with the hip-hop star on his trip in Africa. “He thought he could change it. He’s trying to make a difference.”
In September of 2011, Jackson made a commitment to provide 1 billion meals to the hungry. Part of that commitment was to the WFP. For every unit sold of his new energy drink, called Street King, he has pledged to donate 10 U.S. cents, which would cover the cost of a typical WFP meal.
“Just in sales from his drink so far, he has contributed enough to buy 3.5 million meals,” said McDonough. “I find it really impressive the dedication that he has to making a difference. I’ve spent the last two days with him, it’s a genuine commitment,” she said.