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23 January 2013

Enough food for everyone … if

Enough food for everyone … if

A historic coalition of more than 100 development and faith groups have come together to campaign for action on the issue of global hunger.

Thought to be the biggest campaign of its kind since Make Poverty History in 2005, the Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign unites organisations including Alliance member Tearfund and Christian Aid.

The group 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.

Its report into the issue, launched today, has been backed by philanthropist Bill Gates and Desmond Tutu.

Archbishop Tutu said: "Hunger is not an incurable disease or an unavoidable tragedy. 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.

"IF we challenge our leaders to take action. IF they listen to us. It's time the world's decision-makers came to the right decision on hunger.  It's time to end the unnecessary suffering caused by the failure of the current food system. We can make hunger a thing of the past IF we act now."

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, which will be formally launched today at Somerset House, London and across all nations of the UK, calls on prime minister David Cameron to use the UK's G8 presidency in 2013 to take action on the root causes of the hunger crisis in the poorest countries.

The 'IF' movement challenges the prime minister to tackle four big IFs to help there be enough food for everyone:

  • IF we stop poor farmers being forced off their land, and use the available agricultural land to grow food for people, not biofuels for cars.
  • IF governments keep their promises on aid, invest to stop children dying from malnutrition and help the poorest people feed themselves through investment in small farmers.
  • IF governments close loopholes to stop big companies dodging tax in poor countries, so that millions of people can free themselves from hunger.
  • IF we force governments and investors to be honest and open about the deals they make in the poorest countries that stop people getting enough food.

IF enough people join in showing support for ending hunger, world leaders will be forced to act. Join the movement at www.enoughfoodif.org