The Need for Action at the G8

There is enough food in the world to feed everyone. But almost 1 billion people go hungry, and every year 2.3 million children die from malnutrition. We need radical change if we’re going to put a stop to this global injustice.

I have been contacted by a large number of constituents ahead of this year’s G8, where the UK as Chair once again has the opportunity to demonstrate its ability to show global leadership.

Labour took action in 2005, brokering ambitious commitments on climate change, investment, debt relief and trade for development. If we are to tackle hunger we must use next month’s meeting to achieve a commitment by all the G8 countries to meet their aid targets, tackle tax havens and tax avoidance, and fight for greater transparency.

It is estimated that a world free from hunger would cost just over $50 billion dollars a year. By honouring existing commitments to fund agriculture and tackle malnutrition, G8 countries could support economic growth through investing in small-holder farmers, particularly women, and tackle child and maternal malnutrition.

We also need to address the structural causes of poverty and hunger if we are to achieve radical change. The OECD estimates that developing countries lose three times more to tax havens than they receive in aid each year. That is why we need to end tax secrecy so that companies can be held to account and corruption can be rooted out. Developing countries will never be able to lift themselves out of poverty if they cannot collect taxes to fund their own services.

As Chair of the G8, David Cameron should use the influence of this position to replace his rhetoric on aid, tax and transparency with effective global action to move towards a world free from hunger.

Now is the time for action, and we can all play our part. You can sign up to our campaign here

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