Transformative change to end hunger in our world

2nd February, 2013 11:00 am

The launch of the ‘Enough Food IF’ Campaign to eradicate hunger worldwide is an important reminder that even the most basic of necessities remain out of the reach of many.

In a world where there is enough food to feed each and every one of us it is deplorable that  one in eight people go to bed hungry each night and over two million children a year die from malnutrition.

The campaign’s call for the government to show global leadership and generate action to eradicate global hunger has my wholehearted support. Hunger is a powerful lens which illuminates uncomfortable truths about the continued inequalities in our global society. This was a point made painfully clear in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis when those with the least lost the most.

It is vitally important to increase public engagement, raise awareness about the factors that contribute to food insecurity and increase pressure on the government to make progress.

In the past food crisis after food crisis has been reported in the media and there is always another breaking news story waiting to take its place. We have an opportunity to do better and we must seize it.

Last year I was personally involved in highlighting the food crisis in the Sahel which demonstrated the varied interventions needed to address the chronic problem of hunger; from short term disaster relief to long term investment. Four of the Sahel countries, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mali are in the bottom 15 of the Human Development Index and even in a good year, without exceptional weather or political unrest, Oxfam have reported that 300,000 children will die from malnutrition. Tackling child nutrition could add billions to the global economy as children are able to fulfil their potential. It makes sense morally to take action now but it makes economic sense as well.

What is particularly exciting about the ‘Enough Food IF’ campaign is its strong focus on the transformative change that is needed to end reliance on aid through long term improvements to transparency, building strong institutions and addressing the significant problem of tax accountability. Alongside this the campaign’s call for more effective interventions to support small-scale farmers, improvements in land governance and adequate finance for climate adaptation highlights the key issues which can make a difference.

As part of the Millennium Development Goals we promised to halve hunger by 2015. Improvements have been made. The Proportion of those hungry in Ethiopia fell from nearly two thirds to under half. Yet the truth is that we have little chance of achieving this target.  I am pleased to see that the campaign asks for the government to make good on its broken promise to legislate its commitment to spend 0.7 percent of GNI on development and it is vital that this finance is spent on interventions to prevent hunger.

The UK must use its role as chair of the G8 and co-chair of the UN High-Level Panel on a post 2015 framework to lead the global response to hunger. We need lasting transformative change to make the world a more transparent and a more accountable place. This campaign tackles the issues at the heart of the problem and calls on the UK to lead the world in much needed action. A world without hunger is a world in which everyone has a more equal chance of success and survival.

Tony Cunningham is a Shadow International Development Minister. This post is part of International Development weekend on LabourList – you can join the debate on these issues at YourBritain

To report anything from the comment section, please e-mail [email protected]

Latest

  • Comment Featured Local Government Uncategorized Green voters must give Sadiq their second preference, says Christian Wolmar

    Green voters must give Sadiq their second preference, says Christian Wolmar

    The Greens did not recommend to their supporters any particular candidate for their second preference votes in the London Mayoral election. This is odd since there are very good reasons why Sadiq Khan deserves their support, given both his policies and those of his main opponent, Zac Goldsmith. At the first hustings for the Labour nomination, I mentioned my long campaign to pedestrianise Oxford Street and Sadiq was very quick to endorse it, saying he thought it was a great […]

    Read more →
  • Featured Local Government News Scotland Uncategorized Britain decides: liveblog 2016

    Britain decides: liveblog 2016

      We want to hear from Labour activists and supporters today so please send us your stories and pictures [email protected] The pick of the submissions will be added to the liveblog. 15.02 – Knowsley council is another source of good news. Voters are electing three councillors for each of their 15 wards and many candidates will have guaranteed wins. In seven wards there are fewer than three people standing against Labour meaning there is at least one certain success in each. – […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Voters turned away from London polling station

    Voters turned away from London polling station

    Labour MPs and activists have voiced concerns about voters being turned away from polling stations in North London today.  Dozens of people who presented their polling cards were told they were not on the register. Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis was among those reportedly unable to vote, along with Conservative councillor Dean Cohen. Barnet council has now said they have now resolved the problem and have advised those who were turned away to return before 10pm. They have also advised those who cannot […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News New twist in junior doctors’ dispute as Hunt agrees to “pause” new contracts

    New twist in junior doctors’ dispute as Hunt agrees to “pause” new contracts

    Ministers have has said they will “pause” the introduction of the junior doctors contracts for five days – which had been due to begin on Monday – in an attempt to resolve the junior doctors’ dispute. The Government have said they are willing to accept a proposal from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges which will see the BMA postpone further strikes on the condition they can re-open conversations over Saturday working. The chairwoman of the Academy said a delay is […]

    Read more →
  • News Alan Johnson: Labour must be anti-racist in everything it does

    Alan Johnson: Labour must be anti-racist in everything it does

    Alan Johnson has told Labour members to be “anti-racist in everything we do” as he backed party officials to kick out prejudiced “infiltrators”. Johnson issued a call for Labour to draw on its long history of fighting prejudice as it deals with the fall-out from the anti-Semitism row. He also condemned the “crazy” intervention of Ken Livingstone, who has been suspended after mounting a botched defence of Naz Shah last week. The former Home Secretary invoked the Battle of Cable […]

    Read more →
Share with your friends










Submit