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25 May 2013

Thousands will forego food to urge G8 action on global hunger

Thousands will forego food to urge G8 action on global hunger

Photo: Christian Aid. Tekalech Girma, 5, sifts through the beans that remain from a food package

Thousands of people around the UK – including at least three bishops – are getting ready to go without food to show world leaders their commitment to ending global hunger.

As part of the Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign, people will be fasting on Thursday June 6, days before the G8 summit in Northern Ireland on June 17.

Churches, and other faith groups, are getting involved and signing up for the Big IF Fast with the Bishops of Salisbury, Ramsbury and Sherborne already on board. One in eight people in the world goes to bed hungry despite there being enough food for everyone.

The IF campaign is calling on G8 leaders to help the problem by bringing an end to corporate tax dodging in developing countries, preventing poor farmers being forced off their land and ending the crisis of malnutrition.

Jennifer Bennett, Christian Aid's Church Campaigns Officer said the fast is an opportunity to stand in solidarity with the world's poor. "To show just how hungry we are for action at the G8 we will be making this issue personal by giving up something we depend on. This is about more than names on a petition, we're putting our bodies on the line," she said.

"We're fortunate enough to be able to choose to give up food but the 870 million people that suffer from hunger don't have that luxury. We're urging individuals, families, churches and community groups to get involved and make a stand."

Fasting is a tradition in Christianity and many other faiths and has been a powerful symbol of protest from the suffragettes to Ghandi.

The Bishop of Ramsbury, Rt Revd Ed Condry, who will be joined by the Bishop of Salisbury and fellow bishops and archdeacons, said: "We all need food, it's something every human being has in common. But what divides us is that most of us in the UK have enough to eat while millions go hungry.

"That is a scandal which can be stopped if we put pressure on the leaders of the G8 to take action. That's why I'm going to go without food on June 6 and am asking others to sign up and get involved as well."

The Enough Food For Everyone IF believe there will be enough food for all …

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 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.

Enough Food for Everyone IF is a coalition of more than 200 organisations which have joined together to campaign for action by the G8 on the issue of global hunger. 2013 won't be the end of hunger, but it could be the beginning of the end.

To register your Big IF Fast, for more info, fasting guides and worship resources, visit www.enoughfoodif.org/ifast