British athlete Mo Farah and his family are some of the many people across the world sowing a seed to mark the launch today of Thrive, ONE’s ambitious new campaign that calls on each of us to play our part to break the cycle of hunger and poverty by tackling their root causes.
We’ve published new analysis today which finds that 50 million people could be locked in extreme poverty and 15 million children could remain chronically malnourished unless world leaders take urgent action to break the cycle of poverty and hunger.
More than a billion people – 1 in 5 of the world’s population – live on less than $1.25 a day. This year, 178 million young children, more than 10 times the number of children in the UK, will be stunted due to malnutrition. Their brains and bodies will never recover.
Mo, who last year set up the Mo Farah Foundation to help people suffering from the food crisis in his homeland of Somalia, said:
“It is a tragedy that so many millions of people across the world do not have enough food to eat. In places like Somalia, where I was born, many people are facing a desperate situation following severe droughts. As well as providing immediate help for those struggling to survive, the international community should invest in long-term solutions like water wells, crop storage, and support for farmers.
I am pleased to be working with ONE to remind world leaders that famine and hunger in the 21st century is an obscenity.”
We are calling on world leaders to focus on 30 of the poorest countries that already have smart agriculture and nutrition plans that are tested and affordable. Investing in these plans will help smallholder farmers produce more food, generate bigger incomes and pull themselves out of poverty. They will also give children a better chance to survive and thrive. Focussing on these 30 plans will pave the way for similar progress in other countries.
However, our analysis highlights a significant funding gap, as just 50% of the total funds required to implement the agriculture investment plans has been identified. This leaves a gap of around $27 billion that needs to be filled between now and 2015.
Adrian Lovett, Europe Executive Director of ONE, said:
“Real and sustained investment in small-scale farming, together with a focus on ensuring children have enough nourishing food to eat, will have a huge impact on the lives of millions of people. This campaign is the beginning of a determined fight to help them to pull themselves out of poverty and get them on a path to prosperity.
2012 presents a fantastic opportunity to address these problems, and kick-start a final push towards the Millennium Development Goals deadline in 2015. We have one thousand days left before 2015. Let’s make every single one count.
This isn’t just another campaign. It’s time for a new ambition, a new optimism, a new determination. We don’t want people simply to survive. We want them to thrive.”
Specifically, we’re calling on governments to agree a new compact on food security and nutrition in 2012, which should include:
A new initiative at G8 level to build on the L’Aquila Food Security Initiative that is results-driven, and that includes clear goals to lift 50 million people out of poverty and save 15 million children from stunting through investment in country-owned plans in 30 low-income countries;
A renewal of the commitment made by African governments in 2003 to invest 10% of their national budgets in agriculture and rural development, while setting out new and improved goals with greater transparency and accountability;
A new push to galvanise private sector investment in agriculture; and
Measures to tackle volatility in global food markets, which have a disproportionate impact on the world’s poorest people.
Sign our petition here to help us put pressure on world leaders to take the urgent action that’s needed to lift people out of poverty and hunger.
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