Royalties from Bob Dylan's forthcoming Christmas album will be donated to the World Food Programme (WFP) at a time when a growing hunger crisis threatens the lives of 108 million people worldwide.

The artist’s international royalties in perpetuity from his forthcoming album of holiday songs, Christmas In The Heart, to be released 12 October, will be donated to WFP, the agency said today. WFP said this extraordinary gift will bring help and hope to hungry families who have been dealt a devastating blow by the financial crisis and stubbornly high food prices.

“Bob Dylan’s generosity to help WFP feed the world’s hungry couldn’t come at a better time. Starting this Christmas, we can give thousands of meals to hungry school children all over the world, a gift for a lifetime,” said Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of WFP, the world’s largest humanitarian agency, fighting hunger worldwide, adding that for just 25 US cents a day, WFP can fill a school child’s cup with porridge to help them learn better and succeed in the future.

“The number of hungry in the world — many of them children — has hit an historic high while food assistance has reached a historic low. Today in the United States and in much of Europe, more people are relying on government safety nets for food and support than perhaps ever before, but for 80 per cent of the world, a safety net is little more than a dream. Bob Dylan’s new album will help change that.”

Bob Dylan commented, "That the problem of hunger is ultimately solvable means we must each do what we can to help feed those who are suffering and support efforts to find long-term solutions. I’m honoured to partner with the World Food Programme and Crisis in their fight against hunger worldwide."

Christmas In The Heart will be the 47th album from Bob Dylan, and follows his worldwide chart-topping Together Through Life, released earlier this year. Songs performed by Dylan on this new album include, “Here Comes Santa Claus,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Little Drummer Boy” and “Must Be Santa.”

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