On Saturday 8 June, as 45,000 people gathered in Hyde Park for the Big IF rally against global hunger, world leaders met at the Nutrition for Growth summit and pledged over $4 billion to reduce childhood stunting and improve nutrition for children and mothers around the world. This came just days after new figures from The Lancet showed almost half of global child deaths are attributable to poor nutrition.
Reacting to the news from the summit, David Bull, CEO of UNICEF UK and Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign spokesperson, said:
"If today's promises are delivered they could save the lives of almost two million children - an historic breakthrough in the fight against hunger. We now need to ensure that donors stump up the cash as quickly as possible, hungry children can't wait.
"The Prime Minister has today put the scandal of under-nutrition firmly on the map. This is a turning point in tackling what is the biggest killer of children worldwide as leaders from governments, the private sector, and civil society hosted by the Governments of Brazil, the United Kingdom and the Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), resulted in renewed commitments to accelerate progress towards significant reductions in stunting and improved nutrition for children and mothers around the world."
At the event, UNICEF pledged to continue its own investment in strengthening nutrition in countries worst-affected by stunting and other forms of undernutrition – an investment represented by more than 350 nutrition experts working with governments and local communities in some 65 countries, backed by a financial contribution that has seen around US$1 billion spent by UNICEF on improving nutrition over the last five years.
The Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign calls on David Cameron and his fellow leaders to focus on getting an historic breakthrough on tax dodging and land grabs at the G8 which deny poor countries the resources they need to feed their own people when they meet in Northern Ireland on 17/18 June. "A G8 deal on tax and land which helps poor countries is badly off track. The Prime Minister must urgently intervene in the next week to turn this around."