Today Mercy Corps and 100 other organisations launched 'Enough food for everyone IF', a major new campaign to tackle world hunger. Find out why!
There is enough food in the world to feed everyone. Yet, 1 in 8 people live with the pain of hunger. More than 2 million children die every year because they cannot get enough to eat and many of those who survive are damaged for life. Our food system is broken and unfair. Poor farmers are being forced off their lands. Crops are increasingly used to fuel cars –instead of being used to feed people. Food prices are more volatile than ever and parents work tirelessly, but still cannot afford to feed their children.
Mercy Corps works to address global hunger and support farmers increase their yield and income. We know that hunger is unjust and preventable and that much more could be done to effectively address this shocking problem, but also and importantly to tackle its root causes.
This year, the UK has a unique opportunity – as it will assume the G8 Presidency and become the first G8 country to spend 0.7% of national income on aid – to bring about a step change, and lead the most ambitious programme to fix the global food system that we have ever seen. So Mercy Corps has come together with other leading organisations fighting poverty and hunger to launch today a national campaign, 'Enough food for everyone IF', that could make 2013 the beginning of the end of world hunger.
Watch this video to see more on why this campaign is so important.
This campaign is to highlight the fact that there would be enough food for everyone:
- IF we do not look the other way and IF we empower the poorest to feed themselves. The UK government has committed to spending 0.7% of its national income on aid. By leading other G8 countries to match the UK’s action on aid and ensuring the money is spent well, we can close the nutrition gap that kills 2 million children every year, and empower the small scale farmers who produce half the world’s food but make up the majority of the world’s hungry people.
- IF we stop poor farmers losing their land and use land for food not fuel. Some of the poorest farmers, in countries with very limited access to food, have lost their land when it is sold to foreign companies, for non-food crops, food exports or speculation. In a practice known as land grabbing, communities are often denied informed consent or compensation, and there is often little transparency or analysis of the social and economic impact. An area of farmland in poor countries eight times the size of the UK has been sold to foreign companies in the last ten years. The World Bank is often a source of finance for such purchases, and is a major influence on both governments and the private sector. They should act now by making a temporary freeze on large-scale land acquisitions, in order to create time and space for policy change to protect the interests of the poorest and to ensure that access to food is not undermined. Similar steps were taken by the World Bank in 2007 in relation to Palm Oil and the need for further action is urgent. In this context a review of policies supporting the growth of crops for biofuel in place of food crops is also urgently needed.
- IF we stop the tax dodgers. Too many big companies do not pay up the taxes they owe in developing countries and they are dodging millions of pounds every day. That money could help millions of people to escape from hunger in a sustainable way. We can help stop this tax dodging if our government steps up to close the international tax loopholes – we need a new international tax treaty. This would help poor countries keep hold of the taxes they are owed, giving them funds to invest in supporting farmers to grow enough food for everyone in their country.
- IF we force global corporation to play fair. Many governments and big companies hide behind a veil of secrecy. They would rather not make information public about their impact on people’s lives and on the environment. That means no one can hold them to account for actions that result in millions of people suffering from hunger. By strengthening laws that force them to be open and honest, we can make sure they don’t get away with it.
IF the UK can combine action at home with international leadership, we can rebalance rigged rules around how land is bought, sold and used, end the tax dodging and improve transparency across the food system, driving structural long term change.
But the UK and world leaders will listen only IF enough people support this campaign, so we would really need you to help us end global hunger! Please sign up today and we will keep you informed regarding the campaign developments and how you can best support this cause.