New anti-hunger campaign targets poor in 45 states

01 June 2011

by Ed Thornton

THE Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, Dr Desmond Tutu, is backing a campaign by Oxfam, which was launched on Tuesday, to eradicate hunger in 45 countries.

New research published by Oxfam, Growing a Better Future, suggests that “average international prices of key staples, such as maize, will increase by between 120 and 180 per cent by 2030, with up to half of this increase due to climate change”, a statement accompanying the pub­lica­tion of the report said.

“The world’s poorest people, who spend up to 80 per cent of their in­come on food, will be hardest hit,” it warned.

Archbishop Tutu said: “Many governments and companies will be resistant to change through habit, ideology, or the pursuit of profit. It is up to us — you and me — to persuade them by choosing food that’s produced fairly and sustain­ably, by cutting our carbon foot­prints, and by joining with Oxfam and others to demand change.”

The report also says that, by 2050, demand for food will rise by 70 per cent while capacity to increase production declines, and that eight million people, the majority women and girls, face chronic food shortages in East Africa.

The chief ex­ecutive of Oxfam, Barbara Stocking, said: “We are sleepwalking towards an avoidable age of crisis. . . The food system must be overhauled if we are to overcome the increasingly pressing challenges of climate change, spiralling food prices, and the scarcity of land, water, and energy. We must consign hunger to history.”

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