I'm not sure if I've noticed it more than most would (I started feeling pretty strongly about the issue after learning about the Millenium Development Goals at uni). So just in case it's slipped past the radar of others, I've taken a step away from the food, frivolities and..... shoes (not sure what happened there!) to do a bit to give the matter the attention it deserves.
Fundamentally, the issue raised by IF is that there is enough food around on the earth for everyone, yet every 15 seconds a child dies from hunger - 2 million children every year. It's not a very happy fact, but it is a fact nonetheless.
The point the IF campaign is seeking to make is what if, through a few policy changes (achievable at the G8), the numbers could be reduced. What IF we could be the generation to end world hunger? There's quite a bit on the agenda (you can check it out on their website and show your support) but the key concepts that stand out to me are:
- To free up funds that already exist to combat world hunger. Mr. C is in a unique position to push this forward this year because the UK has presidency of the G8.
- Safeguard the poorest farmers to prevent big companies buying their land, particularly when the crops grown are used to make biofuels not food (off the back of that, there is a push to prevent biofuels from being grown on would-be-crop land full stop).
- Help developing countries recover taxes witheld by big companies and wealthy individuals (through the introduction of legislation).
- Make land exchange deals more transparent and reports on government income and spending more accessible.
- Make it a legal obligation in the UK (and ideally, eventually the EU) for companies to report on issues around Sustainability (including any impact their decisions may have for environment and societies, and ultimately food provision).
The build up of attention really began 10 days ago at the start of the Hunger Summit ahead of the G8 talks. It was marked by the Big IF London event in Hyde Park with several celebrity appearances, including from Bill Gates and Danny Boyle. Attendees were invited to make and bring a spinning flower to plant alongside the many others as a reminder of the 2 million children that die from hunger each year.
Anyone can show their support for the IF campaign in a number of ways, including buying one of the super cute wrist bands available online for £1.50, making larger contributions through the website, or by setting up a twibbon on a social media page.