This summer our campaigning focused on ten days of action to persuade world leaders to act in the best interests of the world’s poorest people.
Our efforts may have brought us a few steps closer to ending world hunger.
In these ten days around the G8 summit, we have achieved some positive results that will help the world to tackle global hunger, but more attention needs to be given to supporting the world’s poorest farmers.
Every eight years, the British public turn the attention of the leaders of the world’s richest countries to the poorest people. And we hold them to the promises they made.
This year, our Hungry for Change campaign has led the way in calling for a fairer deal for small-scale farmers and checks on the power of global food companies. While some progress has been made on tax and transparency, there is more to be done to help the poorest farmers – people around the world who rely on the land for their living.
Ten days of action on hunger: what has been achieved? Prime Minister David Cameron’s championing of the issues that affect global hunger has brought about the beginnings of change that could make a difference to the 870 million people who go to bed hungry every day.
In March the UK government fulfilled its promise to spend at least 0.7% of our Gross National Income on international aid projects. This achieved a commitment that was initially made to the United Nations over 40 years ago.
At the Big IF Rally in London on 8 June, 45,000 people demonstrated our commitment in this country to international development calling on the leaders of the world’s most powerful countries to act. This time we focused particularly on the problem of hunger. Alongside this gathering the Prime Minister hosted a Nutrition Summit and 51 countries pledged £2.7 billion in aid that could save the lives of almost two million children between now and 2020.
The G8 Summit was hosted in Northern Ireland, where the David Cameron put our concerns about international development, tax and transparency on the agenda.
The G8 Summit Significant attention was given to tackling the urgent humanitarian situation in Syria. In addition, the G8 Summit saw progress on the causes of poverty that CAFOD supporters have been calling for as part of the Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign. One key outcome was a declaration that put tax and transparency issues firmly onto the global agenda – a topic that will be returned to in future meetings. This is a step forward to addressing the global hunger crisis.
Transparency: The commitment by the UK to a register of beneficial owners – requiring companies to supply information on who really owns, controls and benefits from their businesses – is another step forward. The G8 decision to allow access to this information signals that an era of secrecy may be ending.
However, is a missed opportunity to make this information public so we can ensure that companies may be fully held to account.
Tax: David Cameron met the crown dependencies and overseas territories. He got them to commit to the exchange of tax information, so the Inland Revenue will know about their accounts. This was acknowledged by G8 leaders, which suggests the opening of previously closed doors on information exchange.
We now need any global deal on information sharing to include developing nations so they can hold companies working in their countries to account.
Land: There was an official acknowledgement for the need to support the “critical role played by smallholder farmers” but the G8 could have agreed specific steps to support 50 per cent of the worlds farmers who are smallholders.
So, we have much to celebrate. Thank you for raising your voice as part of our Hunger for Change campaign and as part of the IF campaign. These steps to address global hunger show that when we come together, we can connect the poor to the powerful.
Did you know? CAFOD was retweeted on Twitter by the official UK G8 Presidency account at the two-day Summit, showing that together we have a powerful voice for change. This is great news for CAFOD!
What’s next? We are continuing to campaign with the 200+ organisations as part of The Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign until October and CAFOD’s Hungry for Change campaign continues into the New Year. Over 50,000 supporters have taken Hungry for Change actions so far, with other 1,017 of these taken by people in East Anglia, and more postcards coming in every week.
There is still time to write and post your action cards to the Prime Minister calling on him to deliver his promises he has made this summer on aid, transparency and tax and to do more to support small-scale farmers. And we’re not going to stop there.
Although we have come a long way, there is still so much more we can do to help build a fairer food system. We need to keep the world’s leaders to the promises so in another eight years we can make even more progress.
We must continue to show the government how much we care about the millions of people who go hungry every day; We must make sure they deliver the promises they have already made; And we must keep calling for the changes needed to stop one in eight people going hungry.