Thursday, 24 January 2013

ONE big chance to fight world hunger

IF... Campaign LaunchLast night I was privileged to witness what could be a historic amount in the fight against world hunger.  Being a 'ONE Mum' (a blogger ambassador of the advocacy organisation, ONE), I was invited along to the launch of a new campaign aimed at eradicating this problem from our planet.

Now I know these sorts of campaigns and awareness drives are launched all the time by aid charities so what makes this one different?  Why do I think it could be the start of the end for global hunger?  Because, all those organisations have realised that sometimes, there is strength (and a louder voice) in numbers.  ONE is one of 100 organisations that have teamed up to launch the "Enough Food for Everyone If..." campaign.

There are around 870 million people living on this planet.  One in eight of them are malnourished and more than 2 million children die each year from chronic malnutrition.  But here's the rub - enough food is being produced across the globe to feed every mouth.  No-one should be going hungry.

With the G8 taking place in the UK later this year, the "Enough Food for Everyone If..." campaign aims to get the issue of world hunger on the political agenda.  The world leaders who will meet - David Cameron, Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande and others - have the ability to instigate real change to help the millions of people who live with the day-to-day struggle of hunger.

The campaign asserts that there would be enough food for everyone if...

  • Governments keep their promises on aid, and invest in small farmers.  This will not only mean that the poorest people have access to more food and better nutrition, but they will be able to lift themselves out of poverty too.
  • Companies pay the tax they owe in poor countries so that governments can invest this money in their people’s livelihoods and futures.
  • We insist governments and investors are honest and open about the deals they make, then people in the poorest countries can hold their governments to account over how they spend their money. 

The launch of the campaign, held at Somerset House in London, was amazing, on a scale that I'd not witnessed before.  I would normally feel uneasy about attending some sort of 'glitzy' campaign launch when it's to do with hunger and famine, or more generally about people having to go without even the most basic of luxuries.  However, on this occasion, it felt like this moment - the moment that could be the start of the end for world hunger - should be recorded in some way.

Hosted by Lauren Laverne, projections lit up the building including a spectacular short 3D animation, outlining the need for this new campaign.

A host of celebrities dedicated their support to the campaign.  Bill Nighy was at the event and spoke passionately about the need to fight global hunger while Bill Gates, David Harewood MBE, One Direction and Myleene Klass were among those projected onto the exterior of Somerset House, pledging their support.  Members of the clergy were there too, adding their voice. 

If we come together, we'll make a noise that those G8 world leaders cannot ignore.  To add your support to this campaign, you can follow, share and join the campaign.  You can also tweet about the issue using the hashtag #If.  The more people who add their voice, the harder it will be for Governments to ignore us.

We can end world hunger... but only if we come together.

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