Monday, 28 January 2013

London Launch of Enough Food for Everyone IF

The world produces enough food for everyone, but not everyone has enough food.

 Tim Whitby for Getty Images
Getting hundreds of people (myself included) to stand outside for an hour on a very cold winter’s evening is no mean feat but it happened.  Wednesday 23 January saw months of work and planning come to fruition with events around the country to launch the new campaign supported by more than 100 NGOs and faith groups, Enough Food for Everyone IF.   

In London, Somerset House with its vast courtyard provided a spectacular setting for the challenging films and celebrity speeches projected across one wing of the building.  Arriving early with colleagues, I certainly felt the sense of anticipation that precedes such occasions as people gathered, young and old, different cultures and backgrounds, all committed to taking action together to bring an end to the scandal of hunger.

So why a new campaign this year?  The UK assumes the presidency of the G8 and David Cameron  has committed to hosting a Hunger Summit prior to the G8 Summit in June.  It is a crucial opportunity for the UK to show leadership in tackling the four big IFs:

Aid   Enough food for everyone IF we give enough aid to stop children dying from hunger and help the poorest families have enough food to live.

Land  Enough food for everyone IF we stop poor farmers being forced off their land, and we grow crops to feed people not fuel cars.

Tax  Enough food for everyone IF governments stop big companies dodging tax in poor countries, so that millions of people can free themselves from hunger.

Transparency  Enough food for everyone IF governments and big companies are open and honest about the actions that prevent people getting enough food.

IF our leaders take these steps, it will change the future for millions of people who live with the day to day struggle of hunger. This year could be the beginning of the end for global hunger.    

Change happens when motivated individuals persuade others to act with them to tackle injustice, as evidenced by the campaign to abolish the slave trade (as actor Bill Nighy reminded us on Wednesday evening), and more recently, Jubilee 2000 and Make Poverty History.  But it’s a long haul.  IF is all set to join that list but this year will only be the start.  

The Methodist Church, Methodist Relief and Development Fund, the United Reformed Church and the URC’s Commitment for Life programme have all signed up to the campaign and will be helping to resource action and reflection during the year. 

There’s an enormous amount of information already so find out how you, your church and community can get involved in IF.