Anti-hunger petition goes to Downing Street

 
Malnourished children outside hospital in Gao, Mali More than one million children in the Sahel region are at risk of severe malnutrition, charities say

Related Stories

Petitions from aid charities, signed by 500,000 people, calling for government action to combat global hunger have been handed in to Downing Street.

They want action in regions including Sahel, West Africa, where more than 18 million people are suffering from the impact of drought and high food prices.

They say Britain should use its 2013 G8 presidency to tackle hunger and try to save a million lives a year.

PM David Cameron has convened a global hunger summit in London on Sunday.

The gathering - on the last day of the Olympic Games - will bring together world leaders, business figures, non-government organisations and development campaigners in an effort to generate renewed momentum behind tackling malnutrition in Africa and other parts of the world.

'Next meal'

The Guardian has reported that British 10,000m gold medal winner Mo Farah - who was born in Somalia - is to attend the summit, although Downing Street has refused to confirm this.

The prime minister told ITV's Daybreak programme the world "needed to put its money where its mouth is" to save the lives of children in developing countries.

The UK could be "proud" of its record on overseas aid, he added, but the global attention on London at the moment gave the UK an opportunity to show it "cares about the poorest in the world".

"I wanted to do this during the Olympic Games. We are all thinking about the next gold medal, but there are millions of children around the world who are thinking, 'am I going to get the next meal?"

David Beckham outside Downing Street David Beckham has told Mr Cameron progress on hunger could be a lasting legacy of London 2012

Last week, Save the Children and World Vision warned that more than one million children in the Sahel region were at risk of severe malnutrition.

The Sahel region is an impoverished area that includes Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Chad.

The charities said the main cause was a lack of protection against shock price rises, and said they wanted more investment to protect against food insecurity.

The deaths of 200,000 children each year could be linked to malnutrition, they added.

At the end of last month, ex-England footballer and Unicef ambassador David Beckham met Mr Cameron at Downing Street to urge the UK to ensure child hunger remains a global priority.

He handed the prime minister a letter, signed by 50 sports and film stars, urging him to "pick up the pace" on the issue when the UK takes over leadership of the G8 group of nations next year.

Unicef's UK director, David Bull, said things could be done immediately such as increasing the advice given to parents and stressing the importance of breastfeeding as a source of vital nutrients.

"We know what the solutions are - some of them are terribly simple," he told the BBC. "In the long term, we need to tackle the poverty and inequality that causes under-nutrition."

He added: "We believe that it is the right time to raise the issue and we are so excited that we have had so much public support."

 

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 172.

    Cameron is a joke - he tells families in the UK that they will no longer receive tax credits for families with more than 2 children, but is taking UK taxpayers money to help feed African families who have more than 2 children.

    Any wonder why people are so hacked off with our self-promoting and vile Politicians.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 171.

    As a child at school I 'had' to give a penny a week to help the starving in Africa. IF anyone missed a week then you were made to look like the scum of the earth (good catholic school). I have looked in to these 'so called' charities and found most are as corrupt as any government. Now I give NOTHING! Birth control is the ONLY answer. Even the animals in Africa know that!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 170.

    @149.Sooty

    "GMO gives higher yield than Organic" is largely a myth once you've set aside the land for refuge crops. GMO has attached to it some corporations with extremely immoral business practices. The people of Africa are vulnerable - do you really want to inflict this on them?

    http://www.rt.com/news/monsanto-brazil-seed-soy-908/

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 169.

    165.SEA_traveler
    I remember years ago as a schoolchild saving milk bottle tops, postage stamps etc etc for Blue Peter causes to provide fresh water, schools & plants to grow their own food, the outcome 40 + years down the line zilch
    --
    I suspect the children saved by your giving as a child have a different view.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 168.

    Sending money in the form of government aid is definitely a no-no.

    Though sent with the best of intentions, the war-lords will always make their profits before any of it gets to the needy.

    Asking the farmers to grow coffee/bio-fuels for profit - only the middle men will make the profit. Let them grow some food.

    If the corruption is dealt with (harshly!) people might have a chance.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 167.

    Starving parents having too many children they can't feed is the problem - but like in Europe/USA it won't be solved until these parents can believe if they have only two children at least one will survive to look after them if they reach old age.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 166.

    No point throwing more money at corrupt countries when our own people are dying through lack of drugs and poor hospital care. Its time we started doing what other countries do and thats looking after our own. Year after year we give aid to these countries and what happens nothing until were all made to feel guilty for daring to be alive the following year and the begging bowls come out again.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 165.

    I remember years ago as a schoolchild saving milk bottle tops, postage stamps etc etc for Blue Peter causes to provide fresh water, schools & plants to grow their own food, the outcome 40 + years down the line zilch, it's exactly the same, how much money are we going to throw at this ?? Aid agencies are wasting their time until you rid the continent of corrupt greedy politicians who steal the aid.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 164.

    @ 140.PatBenatar
    "We should engage politically with African governments to fix long-term problems; charity can't fix them, but it can provide food and water while we wait."

    Its also not just about Gov'ts. Its also to do with humans living in parts of the world where food cannot grow. We should not keep throwing money at an impossible problem while world populations are exploding.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 163.

    63.shortshrift
    'The government should be spending more on famine relief,'
    --

    NO, NO , NO!
    The government if anything should be spending money on famine PREVENTION not famine relief.

    Relief is worthless. An infrastructure to enable them to feed themselves is priceless. But if they cannot protect such a resource any action taken will be futile.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 162.

    Why after all the aid, can't the Africans dig wells, plant crops and feed themselves yet?

    It's clear there governements are corrupt and useless, it's time the west ran these countries.

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 161.

    " David Beckham has told Mr Cameron progress on hunger could be a lasting legacy of London 2012 "


    As D Beckham and Mrs B are paid some orders of magnitude more than necessary for a comfortable life, did DB also tell DC that he and his rich chums will give their massive surplus to the hungry?

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 160.

    well how many billions have we thrown at third world countries to date???....has there been any noticeable difference?..people still starving so giving them money isnt the answer is it...dont know what is though, but in all honesty there are far more important things going on closer to home....

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 159.

    May as well dig a hug pit and throw all the money collected into it!
    You will never keep up trying to feed Africa!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 158.

    155. Black_And_Proud
    "If you're so concerned abotu famine relief, sell all your possessions and give the money to charity"
    ________________________

    Giving money to charity for 50 years has not stopped or changed anything for these third world county's.
    Money has done nothing for these people and never will

  • rate this
    +11

    Comment number 157.

    Judging by the numbers of people needing Food Aid from the Trussel Trust, due to Welfare cuts and delays here in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Prime Minister should be tackling Poverty in his own Country first, starting with paying Basic Subsistence level Welfare as a Human Right.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 156.

    @ 140.PatBenatar
    "That'a s pretty big ask. I mean, how quickly do you need to see a return on your investment? We should engage politically with African governments to fix long-term problems; charity can't fix them, but it can provide food and water while we wait."

    What, 50 years!!? This is not about keeping starving millions alive, its also becoming about population control.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 155.

    63.shortshrift
    "In years to come, we'll likely look back on millions of unnecessary deaths from hunger with the same shudder we now do the slave trade."

    With respect, that's nonsense.

    The slave trade required active engagement from people. Famine and hunger do not.

    If you're so concerned abotu famine relief, sell all your possessions and give the money to charity.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 154.

    I think we have proved that charity is not the answer, it does not solve the underlying problems and simply creates a situation of dependency.

    The one thing that could be done quickly which would radically improve the lot of Africa is for EU to abolish the CAP and American its farm subsidy program. Then African farmers might be able to compete globally and raise their living standards

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 153.

    " David Beckham has told Mr Cameron progress on hunger could be a lasting legacy of London 2012 "


    What other gems does DB have to give DC to save the World?

 

Page 4 of 12

 

More Politics stories

RSS

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.