OLYMPICS 2012: Food security event -Charities welcome plans for food security conference during London Olympics

for a major event exploring solutions to global hunger…

Prime Minister David Cameron made an announcement in the British Parliament that a food security event during the Olympics will take place this summer.

The Prime Minister was speaking following the G8 and NATO Summit on May 23, 2012.

Referring to the twin priorities right now amongst world leaders of economic stability and international security, Prime Minister Cameron detailed poverty reduction and international development as part of that mix.

Cameron referred to the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in his speech, a new pledge by G8 nations, African nations and their private sector partners to rescue 50 million people from poverty over the next decade through inclusive and sustained agricultural growth…

Sustainable investment in agriculture on a massive scale is seen as a key part of successful development aid strategy.

Improving agriculture production is vital if inroads into Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are to be met and inequality driven down in the poorest countries of the world, including across Africa…

The investment comprising aid and private sector investment in African agriculture programmes is planned to launch in Tanzania, Ghana, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso initially.

Other African nations are expected to participate in what is being called the Grow Africa partnership that will be open to all African nations.

Over 45 multinational and African companies have already committed to agricultural investments that total more than $3 billion…

G8 members are also supporting the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), with a pledge target of $1.2 billion over three years from existing and new donors via the public and private sector.

Announcements include plans for a range of sustainable development strategies based around improving excellence in agriculture, supporting smallholder farmers, including drought prevention and nutrition awareness…

David Cameron, referring to the plans in his Parliament address, said:

“On development the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition is an important initiative that aims to help 50 million people lift themselves out of poverty over ten years.

“For countries to receive help they need to show a real commitment to transparency and good governance. And in return they get substantial support to generate private sector investment in food production.

“This is a great combination of promoting good governance and helping Africa to feed its people. And I’ll be building on this with a major event on food security during the Olympics.”

The move recognises that encouraging the private sector to create wealth creation including fresh jobs is one of the best routes to sustainable growth in developing countries, but aid is also part of the programme.

Cameron also called on the world’s government to give more in aid to developing countries…

“For the first time in a decade the amount of aid given by the world’s richest countries to the world’s poorest countries has fallen back,” he said.

The UK is leading efforts to introduce minimum aid development commitments and whilst calling on others to do more, has confirmed this year it remains on course to meet its schedule of investing 0.7 per cent of national income in aid in 2013…

Britain’s total aid spending will rise to a record £9.1 billion this year then to £12 billion in 2013…

It’s a huge commitment to development aid spending helping the poorest people in the world… especially for a government forcing down spending in other areas to combat enormous public debt incurred from a previous administration…

In fact, Cameron’s pursuit of a major redistribution of wealth to the poorest people in the world is staggering in its generosity on behalf of the British people and a powerful statement of global cooperation.

“Britain continues to honour its commitments. Other nations should do likewise and in our G8 next year we will once again produce the report which shows who has and who hasn’t,” says Cameron.

Many respected aids charities have welcomed the UK commitments to international aid and the encouragement for more investment from other major sources.

The praise has continued for the idea to capture the spirit of the Olympics and also the practical reality that many world leaders will be attending London anyway over the summer…

Charities are pressing the leaders at the forthcoming Olympics event to deliver on MDG commitments to hunger and malnutrition and place global cooperation on development aid firmly on the agenda.

Christian Aid’s Political Adviser Sol Oyuela, says: “It’s great news that the UK will be hosting a major event on food security during the Olympics, when the world’s attention will be focused on this country.

“We’re delighted that the UK has seized the Olympics opportunity to lead global efforts to tackle hunger and hope that the event will help galvanise political and public support for action to help millions.

“At a time when the number of hungry people in the world is rising for the first time in a generation it’s more urgent than ever that we make the food system work for people living in poverty. There is enough food for everyone to have what they need but more than one billion people are still hungry.

“Aid is helping to tackle hunger and we also need action to deal with its deeper causes such as climate change and inequality. The UK’s Olympics event is a major opportunity to achieve progress on that front.”

Save the Children Chief Executive Justin Forsyth says: “Save the Children is delighted that the Prime Minister has decided to hold a world hunger summit during the Olympics. He should be applauded for picking up the baton following the recent G8.

“With over a hundred heads of state visiting, the Olympics offers a unique opportunity to leave a global legacy beyond sport. By galvanising other world leaders, the private sector, charities, and the public, the Prime Minister can help save millions of children’s lives, who are currently facing a daily battle with hunger. This is a fight the world can win, and this is the time to act.”

Adrian Lovett, Europe Executive Director of anti-poverty campaign group ONE, also welcomed the Prime Minister’s G8 and Olympics commitments that follow President Barack Obama’s announcement on food development aid at the G8.

“It’s great to see that the Prime Minister will build on President Obama’s bold beginning and develop a sustained global effort to break the cycle of hunger and poverty. When the eyes of the world are on London, the Prime Minister will focus attention on the crucial issue of hunger.

“We urge him to continue this leadership during 2013, when he has a unique opportunity as head of the G8 to build on the promise made by world leaders last week to lift 50 million people out of poverty.”

The UK DFID as well as investing unprecedented amounts of public money into aid development now has a department that directly engages with the private sector to encourage more involvement in developing growth and alleviating poverty in the poorest countries of the world…

Pakistan, Afghanistan, Congo, Ethiopia and Somalia are just some of the main beneficiaries of UK aid receiving hundreds of millions of GBP a year in public money.

The Department for International Development (DFID) has also launched various schemes to encourage private donor investment supporting charities such as CAFOD, charity: water, UNICEF and others…

These include UK Aid Match that was launched in the summer of 2011 and has proven highly effective in inspiring donor action for major international campaigns.

The fund offers pound for pound donor match cash to appeals for development activities focused on poverty reduction in developing countries. Organisations can apply to have their appeals match funded based on an assessment of their value for money for the tax-payer.

Recent appeals include CAFOD’s Lent Appeal, Soccer Aid 2012 and Christian Aid Week 2012 and Trócaire Northern Ireland Lenten appeal, all of which are still currently open…

Sport Relief 2012 was also an Aid Match appeal. Britons generated £52,070,587 for this year’s Sport Relief appeal supporting charity causes overseas and in the UK… an amount that is continuing to rise.

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