On Friday 10 August we handed in a letter signed by over 17,000 UNICEF supporters asking David Cameron to take action on child hunger.
We'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone who signed it. Here's what the letter said:
Dear Prime Minister,
On the eve of the Olympic Games, as all eyes are on London and we come together to celebrate sports stars achieving their dreams, we are asking you to take immediate action to help children around the world to fulfil their potential.
We, the undersigned, need your urgent support to tackle a silent crisis that is affecting around 180 million children under the age of five – stunting. If a child doesn't get the right nutrients in their first 1,000 days of life, the damage to their brain and body cannot be undone.
They will never learn – or earn – as much as they could if they had simply received the right food from the start. Their development will be stunted.
Right now, there are 335,000 children suffering from severe malnutrition in West Africa. It shouldn't be like this. And, together, we can make a change.
Tackling this challenge is not only achievable – it is cost-effective. Children represent all of our futures. If we invest in their health and nutrition and allow them to grow to their full potential, the economy can flourish too.
UNICEF, the world's leading children's organisation, is a global leader in delivering life-saving support for children – but they cannot overcome this enormous challenge alone and that’s why we call for your urgent support.
On 12 August, the day of the Olympic Closing Ceremony, you will host an event in London that will bring together world leaders in science, business and development with key heads of state to discuss this silent crisis. We welcome the fact that you have taken the lead in tackling this terrible situation.
At this event, we ask you to:
- Pick up the pace by setting an ambitious global target to reduce stunting
- Lead the call for other governments to increase their focus on tackling stunting
- Ask business to play their part by making nutritious food more widely available to the most vulnerable.
We know it is possible to end the suffering and loss caused by hunger. We know we can prevent stunting. UNICEF and others need your help.
Starting at this event and using your G8 presidency next year, we ask you to keep child hunger and stunting at the top of the agenda throughout 2013.
Children need you to act now.
David Beckham, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador
With fellow UNICEF Ambassadors Lord Ashdown (UNICEF UK President), Duncan Bannatyne, Harry Belafonte, Martin Bell, Orlando Bloom, Charley Boorman, Tim Clark (UNICEF UK Vice-President), Matt Dawson, Cat Deeley, Whoopi Goldberg, Jemima Khan, Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, James Nesbitt, Sir Roger Moore, Andrew O’Hagan, Lord Puttnam, Vanessa Redgrave, Susan Sarandon, Claudia Schiffer, Trudie Styler, Robbie Williams.
And UNICEF high-profile supporters: Sam Allardyce, Kenny Dalglish, Ralph Fiennes, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Keeley Hawes, Louise Hazel, Tom Hiddleston, Jason Isaacs, Eddie Izzard, Colin Jackson, Martin Keown, Patrick Kielty, Keira Knightley, Atul Kochhar, Lemar Obika, Graeme Le Saux, Denise Lewis, Jeremy Lloyd, Dermot O’Leary, Michael Palin, Kevin Phillips, Oscar Pistorius, Sergio Pizzorno, Rankin, Peter Reid, Simon Reeve, Michael Sheen, Teddy Sheringham, Olly Smith, Dan Snow, Sharleen Spiteri, Jamie Theakston, Desmond Walker, David Walliams, Jonathan Wilkes, Alex Winters.
Thanks to everyone who signed the letter. We'll keep you updated about the outcomes of the Hunger Summit on 12 August.
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