Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham, joined MPs and Peers of all parties in the Palace of Westminster for the launch of a major new campaign by 100 of Britain’s leading development charities and faith groups. The event was hosted by the Speaker John Bercow and newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky and featured speeches from the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg; the Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband and International Development Secretary, Justine Greening.
‘Enough Food for Everyone IF’ is the largest coalition of its kind in the UK since Make Poverty History in 2005. The campaign 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.
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 be costing developing countries an annual $125 billion (£78 billion) in lost economic output by 2030.
The campaign asserts that no one need be hungry or malnourished if countries fulfil commitments of aid to developing countries and invest enough in agriculture and nutrition – then the world has a chance to end the scandal of hunger. Taking action on the ‘corporation tax gap’ by multinational companies alone would enable developing countries to raise enough revenue every day to save the lives of 230 children under 5 currently dying because of malnutrition.
Ben Jackson, Chief Executive of Bond and chair of the campaign, said:
“We should be proud of the great progress we are making as a world to reduce poverty, but it is still the reality that in a world where there is enough food for everyone, 1 in 8 people go hungry every day. This is nothing short of a scandal. We need a concerted effort from governments, civil society and philanthropists to tackle the root causes of this problem and together to ensure that no child has to go hungry.”
Speaking about the campaign, Mr Timms said: “I’m delighted to be backing the Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign. The Make Poverty History campaign changed the course of history by summoning political will in the fight against poverty. With the IF campaign, we really do have the opportunity to make 2013 another historic year. As Britain hosts the G8 summit we can show global leadership and deliver clear plans to tackle the root causes of hunger.”