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Issue 286, Friday 22 February 2013 - 12 Rabi' al-Akhar 1434

G8 urged to ensure enough food for everyone

By Aishah Ali

Although there is enough food for everyone in the world, one in eight people go to bed hungry every night and two million children die from malnutrition every year. In response to this global issue, over 100 organisations came together to launch a campaign, Enough Food For Everyone If, on January 23. The campaign, the largest coalition of its kind in the UK since Make Poverty History in 2005, aims to call on Prime Minister, David Cameron, to use his presidency to bring these concerns to the top of the agenda at the upcoming G8 summit.

Islamic Relief, a member of the coalition, supports the aims and its UK Director, Jehangir Malik, said, “Islamic Relief wants to encourage Muslims and mosques throughout the UK to get involved in this campaign with us.”

The Campaign wants leaders to act on four key “ifs” that could help alleviate hunger for millions of people around the world. The first aim states that there will be enough food for everyone if we give enough aid to stop children dying from hunger and help the poorest families feed themselves. This includes rich nations putting more life-saving aid into sustainable small-scale agriculture and nutrition, in order to build upon the agreement made at the 2012 G8 summit filling the gap in agriculture funding, and reaching the $5 billion needed to pay for action on nutrition would collectively save more than 1 million lives every year.

The second aim points out that there would be enough food for everyone if governments stop big companies dodging tax in poor countries. If large companies stopped avoiding tax in developing countries, the national food scheme could reach more people. Under this aim the coalition aims to encourage the G8 to launch a ‘Convention on Tax Transparency’ ensuring countries would commit to preventing individuals and companies from hiding wealth so that it’s untraceable, tax havens would be required to share with developing countries any important information on hidden wealth and assets, and developing countries would receive assistance in recovering taxes due to them.

The final aim is transparency - there would be enough food for everyone if governments and big companies are honest and open about their actions that stop people getting enough food.

The aim states that governments and big companies would rather we didn’t know the deals they make to help keep the world’s poorest citizens in a cycle of hunger, and now is the time for them to be held account. It requests stronger laws are needed that force governments and corporations to be open and honest in all their actions relating to the food system, and ensure that resources are used to help poor people.

It calls for the G8 to push for greater transparency in land acquisitions, financial transparency and corporate transparency, to ensure that corrupt deals are stopped.

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