New anti-poverty campaign calls for end to hunger

AP
This 21 December photo shows an Indian woman carrying her baby as she begs at a traffic signal in New Delhi, India

A hundred charities have joined together to call on world leaders to tackle the "scandal" of hunger.

The Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign is the biggest mobilisation to address poverty since Make Poverty History.

The campaign has the backing of philanthropist Bill Gates and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as well as organisations like the Church of England, Tearfund, Christian Aid, Bond, Oxfam and Save the Children.

Together they warn that almost a billion young people will experience a childhood of hunger and malnutrition by 2025, despite living in a world where there is enough food for everyone.

A report by the groups says that the life chances of some 937 million children and people between the ages of 15 and 40 will be permanently damaged by the impact of childhood hunger.

The economic burden of children growing up hungry is predicted to cost developing countries £78bn over the next 15 years.

Although 14,000 fewer children are dying each day than in 1990, the groups warn that unless hunger is addressed, progress will falter.

The campaign calls upon David Cameron to make the most of the UK's G8 presidency this year to unite world leaders in addressing the root causes of hunger.

Campaigners say that the hunger crisis can be solved if:

Governments keep their promises on aid and invest to stop children dying from malnutrition

Legal loopholes are shut down to stop big companies tax dodging in poor countries

Poor farmers are not forced off their land and the available agricultural land is used to grow food for people and not biofuel for cars

Governments and investors are "honest and open about the deals they make in the poorest countries that stop people getting enough food"

Archbishop Tutu said hunger could be ended if leaders and individuals take action.

"Hunger is not an incurable disease or an unavoidable tragedy," he said.

"We can make sure no child goes to bed hungry. We can stop mothers from starving themselves to feed their families. We can save lives.

"We can do all of this, if we are prepared to do something about it ... we can make hunger a thing of the past if we act now."

Resources are available at www.tearfund.org/en/get_involved/campaign/if/

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