Double Olympic champion Mo Farah passed the baton in the Race Against Hunger to the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, as Sunday’s Global Hunger Summit fired the starting gun on what could be the biggest-ever push against hunger.
Developing and rich countries, as well the private sector, agreed to commitments at the Summit that will help the world tackle the scourge of childhood malnutrition which claims the lives of 300 children every hour of every day.
But the summit was only the start of the Race Against Hunger.
Next year, with Britain’s presidency of the G8, David Cameron has a historic opportunity to lead the world in delivering real change for the world’s poorest children.
Save the Children UK chief executive Justin Forsyth said after the summit: "The important commitments made here – from wealthy and developing world nations as well as the private sector – are just the beginning.
“If we are to save 25 million more children from malnutrition by the Brazilian Olympics in 2016, then we need unprecedented political action, private and public investment and a massive increase in life-saving programmes.
“With the presidency of the G8 next year, David Cameron and the UK government can deliver global leadership on hunger, ensuring a historic legacy for the world’s poorest children from London’s golden games.”
Mo on the most important race of all
Olympic hero Mo Farah, fresh from his 5,000 metre victory, joined Save the Children child ambassadors, Olympic great Haile Gebrselassie and football legend Pelé at Downing Street, before the summit.
The 10,000 and 5,000 metre champion, said: "Winning my second gold last night was a dream come true, but I’m here today for perhaps the most important race of all, the race to tackle hunger and malnutrition around the world.
“I am really pleased to meet with the Prime Minister and talk to him about this issue which is very close to my heart.
“Last year I visited Somalia during the famine. It was shocking to see people in the country where I was born simply not having enough food to eat.
“The London Olympics have been an incredible two weeks. And now we have an opportunity to make the legacy of these Olympics one that will inspire generations at home and also one that could save the lives of millions of children, and give them the chance to thrive and to fulfil their potential.”
Some of the commitments announced at the summit include:
- A doubling of India’s budget to improve the health and nutrition of 100 million women and children
- A major European Union commitment to take responsibility for reducing the number of stunted children in the world by 7 million by 2025
- UK multinationals Unilever and GSK – both Save the Children corporate partners – agreed to work to find ways to make nutritious food available to poor families at prices they can afford.
Source: Save the Children UK