Fighting to bring an end to world hunger

131031'Scarborough MP Robert Goodwill launches the new Christian Aid campaign with commitee mebers from left,Maggie Bridge,David Bridge and Chris Wright'Picture by Neil Silk'08/03/13
131031'Scarborough MP Robert Goodwill launches the new Christian Aid campaign with commitee mebers from left,Maggie Bridge,David Bridge and Chris Wright'Picture by Neil Silk'08/03/13

Christian Aid in Scarborough are backing a huge new campaign which will bring together 100 organisations to battle against hunger.

The campaign, “Enough Food For Everyone If”, will be the biggest mass campaign movement since Make Poverty History in 2005.

David Bridge, of Scarborough Christian Aid, explained: “Make Poverty History was a major campaign and we’re hoping that this one will be as big or bigger.

“Around 900 million people are hungry all the time and we’re trying to persuade the Government to do something about it.”

David, along with other representatives from Christian Aid, met with Scarborough’s MP Robert Goodwill to talk to him about the campaign.

Mr Goodwill said: “I’ve agreed to write to Justine Greening, secretary of state for international development, about the issue of multi-national companies who are not playing tax in the countries in which they operate.

“It’s an issue which is of concern all over the world.”

The campaign is highlighting the fact that there is enough food in the world to feed all seven billion of us.

Yet nearly 900 million people - 1 in 8 of the world’s population - go to bed hungry every night.

Two million children die every year from malnutrition and 100 million children under five are underweight through lack of food.

Christian Aid are seeking to mobilize the world’s governments to deal with hunger. This year the UK is set to reach its historic promise to spend 0.7 per cent of our gross national income on aid to the poor countries, which has the support of all the main political parties.

In June this year the UK will take over the chair of the G8 group of countries, so we will be in a position to influence the rest of the world.

This year the world will begin to debate a new set of development goals for the next decade and the abolition of hunger will be a vital feature.

The target of wiping out hunger ranks with the abolition of slavery and the rejection of apartheid in its magnitude. Many charities including CAFOD, Oxfam, UNICEF and Save the Children will take part in the campaign.

Heavily involved in the campaign is the need to deal with tax dodging. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development estimates that developing countries lose three times more to tax havens than they receive in aid each year.

That money could help millions of people to escape from hunger. We can help stop this tax dodging if our government steps up to close the tax loopholes.

To illustrate this problem, Christian Aid give the example of Zambia Sugar - parent company Associated British Foods - which as one of the world’s largest producers of sugar is aiming this year to produce 400,000 tonnes of sugar.

In 2012 the company made record profits but between 2007 and 2012 Zambia Sugar paid less than 0.5 per cent of its profits to the government of Zambia in corporation tax.

In Mazabuka, where the sugar factory is situated, the people are in desperate straits through lack of tax income. The children in the school have to stand up to be taught since there is no money for desks. Christian Aid are asking that profits of all companies are declared and taxed in the countries where the profits are made; and that full information of profits is shared between tax authorities in different countries.