SAVE THE CHILDREN WELCOMES UK GOVERNMENT’S £372M FOOD INSECURITY PACKAGE AHEAD OF G7 AS WORLD LEADERS URGED NOT TO TURN THEIR BACK ON CHILDREN IN EAST AFRICA
London Friday 24 June 2022 - Save The Children has welcomed the UK government’s £372 million commitment to fighting global food insecurity ahead of the G7 summit starting on Sunday (June 26) but asks that world leaders to do more to help a region hurtling towards famine.
The meeting of the world’s leading industrial nations in Germany is a chance for global leaders to step up to the challenge of the looming food crisis in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia, where one person is dying every 48 seconds from hunger.
The Prime Minister’s financial package announced today is a step in the right direction. The £2 million for the Nutrition Match Fund, which matches governments’ national spending on wasting – the most acute and deadly form of child malnutrition – could be effective, as will the £37 million for the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development [IFAD], to address poverty and hunger in rural areas of developing countries.
But the G7 is a pivotal moment in the global push for a comprehensive financial response that targets malnutrition and the therapeutic foods that can bring children back from the brink. Without this outcome from the G7 summit children are at risk of dying in their thousands this summer.
Gwen Hines, chief executive of Save The Children said: “This is a welcome step from the UK Government to tackle the global hunger and nutrition crisis and ensure that children have access to nutritious food. By no means is it a job done. We must continue to push for scaled up action, now and in the future, to ensure we end hunger for good.
“Other G7 leaders must now follow the UK in taking the urgent action required to save lives now, as well as strengthening local and national health and nutrition systems to prevent and respond to future health emergencies.”
The announcement comes after independent polling by Save The Children this week showed the majority of people in the UK wanted the government to step up its financial support for countries on the brink of famine in East Africa.
Asked if the UK should act now to save children’s lives in the region considering that it has been hit with the worst drought for 40 years, two thirds (66 percent) said yes, compared to 12 percent who said no, and 22 percent who were unsure.
There was also a slim majority that believe the hunger crisis in East Africa is a political failure of world leaders. Just over half who took part in the poll (54 percent) said yes, 23 percent said it was not a political failure of world leaders and 23 were unsure.
The public also showed an awareness that the conflict in Ukraine is causing food shortages in East Africa (59 percent were aware, compared to 41 percent unaware).
However there was less knowledge about the risk to children. Asked if they were aware that 350,000 children are likely to die from hunger in East Africa this summer, only 28 percent of those polled said yes, compared to 72 percent who said no.
The poll of 2000 people ran on Thursday (23 June).
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