The Soil Association helps launch national campaign to tackle world hunger
23 January 2013
Hunger and malnutrition in childhood will trap almost a billion young people in poverty by 2025, according to a major new campaign. On 23 January the Soil Association will help launch ‘Enough Food for Everyone IF’, 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 also imposes a grave economic burden on the developing world, costing £78 billion over the next 15 years.
In its first report out today, the group which numbers 100 organisations and has the backing of Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu, warns of the human and economic cost of hunger in a world where there is enough food to feed everyone. The launch of the campaign will also be supported by actors Bill Nighy, Keeley Hawes and Bonnie Wright, musician Baaba Maal, Olympic athlete Colin Jackson and England rugby legend Matt Dawson.
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 cost 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 their 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. Climate change is making things even 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 to ensure 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.
• If governments stop big companies dodging tax in poor countries, so that millions of people can free themselves from hunger.
• IF we force governments and investors to be honest and open about the deals they make in the poorest countries that stop people getting enough food.
Speaking about the campaign, Helen Browning, director at the Soil Association said; “The Soil Association is pleased to join the IF campaign coalition. We work for fairness in the system to end hunger and malnutrition, and support increasing access to land for farmers now and in the future.”
Enough Food for Everyone IF launch events will be taking place in London, Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast, as well as regionally in more than 24 key towns and cities.
IF enough people join us in showing support for ending hunger, world leaders will be forced to act. Join us at www.soilassociation.org/if
For press enquiries contact the Soil Association press office:
Natasha Collins-Daniel, Press Office Manager – 0117 914 2448 / 07827 925380
Holly Black, Digital Communications and Press Officer – 0117 914 7170
Notes to editors:
Enough Food for Everyone IF is a coalition of 100 organisations and counting which have joined together to campaign for action by the G8 on the issue of global hunger. The last time we worked together at this scale was for Make Poverty History. Now that the G8 group of world leaders are returning to the UK, we are demanding they take action on hunger. 2013 won’t be the end of hunger, but it could be the beginning of the end. Join us at www.enoughfoodif.org
For current Members of Enough Food for Everyone IF, visit www.bond.org.uk