Every night one in eight people go to bed hungry; that's more than the population of Europe, Australia and America combined. In a world that produces enough food for everyone this is a scandal. In response to this scandal Concern Worldwide and over 100 other organisations came together last week to launch one of the most exciting and potentially game-changing campaigns to end global hunger the world has ever seen.
The campaign - which saw events held in Manchester, Glasgow, Belfast and London - calls on Prime Minister David Cameron to use the UK's G8 presidency in 2013 to address the root causes of hunger affecting the poorest countries in the world. The Irish government also has a role to play by using its European Union presidency and seat at the G8 to provide the political will to make progress.
The "Enough Food for Everyone... IF" campaign focuses on four "ifs" that could free millions from the cycle of hunger and food insecurity if we can make them a reality.
IF we give enough aid to stop children dying from hunger, and help the poorest people feed themselves.
We need to ensure continued development aid to support food production. The global food system has suffered from under-investment in agriculture. Poor farmers are finding it hard to earn or grow enough to support their families' nutrition needs but the right investment could improve the lives of millions. In poor countries, economic growth fuelled by agriculture has more impact than any other kind of investment.
IF we stop big companies dodging taxes in poor countries, so that millions of people can free themselves from hunger.
We need to ensure large corporations operating in poorer countries pay the tax they owe instead of pouring their profits into tax havens. The amount of money developing countries lose through tax dodging is three times as much as the development aid they receive. Corporations have to play their part in tackling hunger and improving nutrition by shifting to more sustainable and open financing.
IF we stop poor farmers being forced off their land, and use crops to feed people not cars.
We need to ensure poor farmers gain legally recognised titles for their land. In Tanzania, Concern is already helping smallholders obtain formal documents that ensure their families get a fair price if they sell their land. Bio-fuel targets in the developed world mean food crops are increasingly being grown to fuel cars instead of feeding hungry people. Legal titles can prevent poor farmers being forced off their land by large institutions and help boost their income and food production.
IF we force governments and big corporations to be honest and open about their actions that stop people getting enough food.
We need to ensure governments and corporations are transparent about how their behaviour affects the global food system. Governments must be more accountable to their citizens and private sector investors must be more open about how their practices can help the fight against global hunger.
With the backing of philanthropist Bill Gates and social rights activist Desmond Tutu, this campaign has the potential to have a lasting impact in the fight against hunger. But we need your support. We need as many voices as possible to tell our leaders that we will no longer accept "if" when it comes to making hunger history. We can't afford "if" any longer. 2013 won't be the end of global hunger but it can be the beginning of the end and we can be the generation that demands this change.
Join Concern Worldwide and the IF campaign. Visit www.concern.net/if and sign up today.
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more