Olympic Summit fires the starting gun in the Race Against Hunger

Double Olympic champion Mo Farah passed the baton in the Race Against Hunger to the Prime Minister as Sunday's Global Hunger Summit fired the starting gun on what could be the biggest-ever push against hunger. 

Sunday 12 August 2012

Mo Farah and the Race Against Hunger

Developing and rich countries, as well the private sector, agreed to commitments that will help the world tackle the scourge of childhood malnutrition which claims the lives of 300 children every hour of every day.

And the Prime Minister promised to put hunger at the top of his international agenda:

"The hard truth is that, while we’ve made huge strides in the last decade on things like education, malnutrition rates have stagnated. I’m determined that Britain helps change this," he said.

But today's 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.

500,000 call for action on hunger

Our chief executive Justin Forsyth said after today's 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 Pele 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 today's 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

Thousands of our supporters signed our petition and tweeted No.10 calling on David Cameron to put hunger at the top of his agenda. We also had great support from Mumsnet, The Nutrition Society, Ruth Clemens, and Healthy Futures.