Friday May 10, 2013

Enough food for everyone IF

Hunger and malnutrition in childhood will trap almost a billion young people in poverty by 2025, according to a major new campaign launched by Britain’s leading development charities and faith groups on January 23. ‘Enough Food for Everyone IF’, whose members include Islamic Relief, is the largest coalition of its kind in the UK since Make Poverty History in 2005.

The group warns that in a world where there is enough food for everyone, the scandal of children growing up hungry imposes a grave economic burden on the developing world, projected to cost £78 billion over the next 15 years.

“In a world of plenty there should be enough food to feed us all,” says Jehangir Malik, Islamic Relief’s UK Director. “Yet one in eight people go to bed hungry every night and over 2 million children die from malnutrition every year. Islamic Relief wants to encourage Muslims and mosques throughout the UK to get involved in this campaign with us.”

In its first report the group, which numbers 100 organisations and has the backing of philanthropist Bill Gates and Desmond Tutu, warns of the human and economic cost of hunger in a world where there is enough food to feed everyone.

As well as the 937 million children and young people (aged 15-40) whose life chances will be permanently damaged by the impact of childhood hunger by 2025, the report estimates that malnutrition will be costing developing countries an annual $125 billion (£78 billion) in lost economic output by 2030.

Great strides have been made in reducing poverty, and 14,000 fewer children are dying each day than in 1990. But hunger is threatening to reverse these achievements. Hardworking poor farmers, especially women and children, and vulnerable and ordinary people everywhere face the highest food prices in a generation. In the UK, the numbers of people using food banks has risen sharply. And climate change is making things worse.

The campaign calls on Prime Minister David Cameron to use the UK’s G8 presidency in 2013 to take action on the root causes of the hunger crisis in the poorest countries. The ‘IF’ movement challenges the Prime Minister to tackle 4 big Ifs, arguing that there is enough food for everyone:

IF we stop poor farmers being forced off their land, and use the available agricultural land to grow food for people, not biofuels for cars.

IF governments keep their promises on aid, invest to stop children dying from malnutrition and help the poorest people feed themselves through investment in small farmers.

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