Hunger and malnutrition in childhood will trap almost a billion young people in poverty by 2025, according to a major new campaign launched this week by Britain’s leading development charities and faith groups.
Enough Food for Everyone IF is a coalition of 100 organisations and counting, including Christian Aid, Traidcraft and North East Call to Action, which have joined together to campaign for action by the G8 on the issue of global hunger.
The campaign, which has the backing of philanthropist Bill Gates and Desmond Tutu amongst others, calls on the Prime Minister to use the UK’s G8 presidency in 2013 to take action on the root causes of the hunger crisis in the poorest countries.
In its first report, launched this week, 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. As well as the 937 million children and young people 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 £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. 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.
“It is a sad world when we need to have this excellent IF Campaign, but we are dealing with the reality of two million children a year dying through hunger in the 21st century when there is enough food to go round and need to be reminded of the injustice and waste.
“This campaign states the obvious – the need for world leaders to fulfil their commitment on aid and climate finance, making companies pay fair taxes where they should, ensuring land is used to grow food for local communities, and for transparency on the use of aid. We just need them to do it.”