100 major charities launch campaign to tackle hunger trap

Hunger and malnutrition in childhood will trap almost a billionyoung people in poverty by 2025, according to a major new campaign,launched today byBritain's leading development charities and faithgroups. 'Enough Food for Everyone IF' is the largest coalition ofits kind in theUKsince Make Poverty History in 2005.

The group warns that in a world where there is enough foodfor everyone, the scandal of children growing up hungry alsoimposes a grave economic burden on the developing world, costing£78 billion over the next 15 years.

In its first report out today the group, which numbers 100organisations and has the backing of philanthropist Bill Gates andDesmond Tutu, warns of the human and economic cost of hunger in aworld where there is enough food to feed everyone.

As well as the 937 million children and young people (aged15-40) whose life chances will be permanently damaged by the impactof childhood hunger by 2025, the report estimates that malnutritionwill be costing developing countries an annual $125 billion (£78billion) in lost economic output by 2030.

Great strides have been made in reducing poverty and 14,000fewer children are dying each day than in 1990. But hunger isthreatening to reverse these achievements. Hardworking poorfarmers, especially women and their children, vulnerable andordinary people everywhere face the highest food prices in ageneration. In theUK, the numbers of people needing to use foodbanks has risen sharply. Climate change is making things evenworse.

The campaign, which will be formally launched on January 23 atSomerset House,Londonand across all nations of theUK, calls onPrime Minister David Cameron to use theUK's G8 presidency in 2013to take action on the root causes of the hunger crisis in thepoorest countries. The 'IF' movement challenges the Prime Ministerto tackle 4 big IFs to help there be enough food for everyone:

IF we stop poor farmers being forced off their land, and use theavailable agricultural land to grow food for people, not biofuelsfor cars.

IF governments keep their promises on aid, invest to stopchildren dying from malnutrition and help the poorest people feedthemselves through investment in small farmers.

IF governments close loopholes to stop big companies dodging taxin poor countries, so that millions of people can free themselvesfrom hunger.

IF we force governments and investors to be honest and openabout the deals they make in the poorest countries that stop peoplegetting enough food.We want our leaders to act on the four bigissues that stop everyone getting enough food.

Taking action on the 'corporation tax gap' by multinationalcompanies alone would enable developing countries to raise enoughrevenue every day to save the lives of 230 children under 5currently dying because of malnutrition.

Desmond Tutu supports Enough Food for Everyone IF and said:

"Hunger is not an incurable disease or an unavoidabletragedy. We can make sure no child goes to bedhungry.  We can stop mothers from starving themselves tofeed their families. We can save lives. We can do all of this, IFwe are prepared to do something about it. IF we challenge ourleaders to take action. IF they listen to us. It's time the world'sdecision-makers came to the right decision on hunger.  It'stime to end the unnecessary suffering caused by the failure of thecurrent food system. We can make hunger a thing of the past IF weact now."

The London launch event in the courtyard at Somerset House willbegin at 6pm and will be attended by more than 1,000 campaignsupporters, including actors Bill Nighy, Keeley Hawes and BonnieWright, musician Baaba Maal, athletes Denise Lewis and ColinJackson andEnglandrugby legend Matt Dawson.

It features the world's first Twitter-powered 3-D interactiveanimation. The show will feature a projection which is mapped tothe building of Somerset House, bringing its architecture to lifein 3-D, telling the story behind the campaign: that there is enoughfood for everyone but not everyone gets enough food. For the firsttime ever, a mapped projection will incorporate live tweets fromthe audience. Once the Twitter target is reached, the animationwill reveal the four big IFs which comprise the campaign's demandsto the G8.

Enough Food for Everyone IF events will be taking place acrosstheUK's four nations: inGlasgow,Scotland; inCardiff,WalesandinBelfast,Northern Ireland, as well as regionally across more than20 key towns and cities.

In the 12 minutes it will take to show the animation:

52 children around the world will die from malnutrition;

£2.3 million in tax will be dodged by multinational companiesoperating in the world's poorest countries,

TheUKwill have burnt enough food crops in our cars as biofuelsto feed almost 90,000 people for a day.

Land 25 times the size of the Olympic stadium will be grabbed bymultinational companies and foreign governments.

IF enough people join us in showing support for ending hunger,world leaders will be forced to act. Join us at www.enoughfoodif.org.