A quarter of the world’s children running on empty

I’ve just been on a blustery winter run in Battersea Park. It was beautiful, running towards the lit Albert Bridge and feeling the wind come off the river. With every step, I felt more relaxed.

Now, back home, I’m hungry. I’m waiting for my potatoes to boil. Quite impatiently – I’ve covered nearly 20 miles today and need to replenish the calories. Thankfully, I can look forward to a filling, nutritious meal, unlike a quarter of the world’s children. While in recent years we have made great progress on many development fronts, hunger still lags behind. It claims the lives of nearly 300 children an hour. For many more children it is a life sentence; they grow up physically stunted, and to put it crudely, mentally stunted too, as their brains are deprived of the nutrients they need to develop. They do less well at school and earn on average 20% less as adults.

At the end of last month, Save the Children and a consortium of over 100 NGOs launched Enough Food For Everyone IF, the biggest campaign in history to end hunger. Think Make Poverty History, but in the age of social media.

It centres around four simple, tangible IFs, the obstacles that currently stand in the way of everyone having enough food. We can end hunger if:
– we give the poorest people the power to feed themselves
– we stop corporate tax dodging
– we use land for food, not fuel
– we force global corporations to play fair.

Sound too simple? Well, that’s the nature of mass-mobilising campaigns – complex issues around committing to minimum levels of aid, multi-national corporations that pay no tax to the developing countries they operate in, land used for biofuels and government and corporate transparency must be condensed into easily-digestible, 140 character friendly chunks. If you’d like the detail, there’s a detailed policy report to back the IFs up.

My potatoes have not only boiled now, I’ve sautéed them. Along with the fish fillet and broccoli, it’s just what I need after the day’s exercise. At the moment the ability to “waste” calories by jogging a couple of laps of the park purely for your own enjoyment isn’t even a dream for too many people – it’s inconceivable. Do what you can to change this now. Join the campaign.

www.savethechildren.org.uk/if

www.virginmoneygiving.com/AlessandraMartines

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