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UK >

There is one direction: ending world hunger

Ed Thornton

by Ed Thornton

Posted: 25 Jan 2013 @ 12:16

A POWERFUL campaign to combat world hunger was launched by a coalition of 100 organisations on Wednesday.

The "Enough Food for Everyone IF" campaign is supported by agencies such as Christian Aid, Tearfund, Save the Children, and Oxfam; and by the Church of England, the Methodist Church, and the Church of Scotland, among others.

The campaign calls on world leaders "to act on four big issues" relating to hunger, its website says. First, for enough aid to be given to stop children's deaths from hunger; second, for governments to prevent large companies' avoiding paying tax in poor countries; third, for farmers in developing countries not to be forced off their land; and fourth, for "governments and big companies" to be "honest and open about their actions that stop people getting enough food".

The campaign has enlisted the support of several celebrities, including the band One Direction, the film director Richard Curtis, and the actor Bill Nighy.

The website says: "Nearly one billion people go to bed hungry every night, and two million children die from malnutrition every year. We've made progress in other areas, but hunger is still the great scandal of our age. . .

"In 2013, the Government has promised to provide 0.7 per cent of national income for aid and to host a Hunger Summit. We must make sure they keep these promises. In June, the world's most powerful leaders will meet in the UK at the G8."

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who is supporting the campaign, said: "Hunger is not an incurable disease or an unavoidable tragedy. . . 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."

The Bishop of Hereford, the Rt Revd Anthony Priddis, who is the lead bishop on rural issues, said: "Today, the world produces enough food to feed all seven billion of its inhabitants, but nearly one billion still go without. The growing levels of food insecurity in an age of plenty challenge the gospel message of abundant life. 

"As a Church, we are called upon both to feed the hungry and to expose and eradicate the causes of debilitating hunger. This year's IF campaign provides us all with an opportunity to cast a spotlight on our broken food system, and to press governments, companies, and citizens to take the necessary steps to reduce the millions currently going hungry." 


Click to enlarge

Gospel work: the Bishop of Derby, Dr Alastair Redfern, at the launch of the IF campaign at Somerset House, on Wednesday evening


Gospel work: the Bishop of Derby, Dr Alastair Redfern, at the launch of the IF campaign at Somerset House, on Wednesday evening

The campaign manager for Christian Aid, Al Roxburgh, said: "With the 'Enough Food for Everyone IF' campaign, we have the opportunity to take strides forward in tackling hunger in our world. To make this a reality, we need the support of the churches, whose history of pressing for justice marks them out as key players in the fight against poverty and hunger." 

Speaking at the launch of the campaign at Somerset House, on Wednesday evening, the Bishop of Derby, Dr Alastair Redfern, said: "Local churches can make an enormous contribution to this campaign. . . Here's a chance for us to make a political contribution, something that will unite people for what the gospel's about, which is feeding those who are hungry. . .

"I hope churches will see this as the highest priority. . . If we can make an effort, not least put political pressure on our leaders, then they can look at the systems that allow this to happen and they can try and change them with our support and our prayers and our commitment."

The Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, said yesterday: "It is a scandal that the world produces enough food for everyone, but not everyone has enough food. Hunger is the greatest scandal of our age. It kills more people than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Two million children die each year because of malnutrition. . .

"I want to encourage us all to support the IF campaign and call on our government to take action that will help ensure that the world becomes a fairer place and children don't go hungry, wherever they are born."

A podcast in which Dr Redfern talks more about the campaign can be listened to
  here. A short video about the campaign can be watched  here.


Question of the Week:  Will you actively support the IF campaign?

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