Are you hungry for change David? Over 50,000 demands for action on hunger to David Cameron on World Food Day
CAFOD has marked World Food Day by delivering over 50,000 demands for action on hunger to Number 10 Downing Street.
As part of our Hungry for change campaign, we’ve been asking Prime Minister David Cameron to champion targeted aid to small-scale farmers and checks on the power of global food companies. In the last year, over 50,000 of you have signed one of our action cards to show your support for changes in government policy that will help stop one in eight going hungry.
A group of CAFOD supporters including two pupils and teacher Richard Price from Sacred Heart Secondary School in Southwark, Sister Alphonsus OP and Sister Karen Marguerite OP handed in the cards to Number 10.
CAFOD supporter Richard Price said: “I am so happy to be here today as one of the thousands who have stood up and said ‘no’ to world hunger throughout IF and CAFOD’s Hungry for change campaign. It is fantastic to deliver these actions and say ‘look how many have stood alongside me’. This is an amazing achievement for supporters in getting David Cameron to listen.”
Your support in getting behind this campaign has been crucial to its success. You can read about some of the achievements we’ve already seen. But we still need progress in a number of areas.
During the hand-in at Downing Street, the group also delivered a letter from CAFOD director Chris Bain addressed to David Cameron. The letter expressed the sincere hope that the government will listen to the thousands of citizens who signed our action cards calling for reasonable checks and balances on multinational companies, given the central role that they play within our global food system.
In the letter, we also asked for EU reporting requirements that mean large companies must report on the risks and impacts of their activities on the environment and human rights. We are also calling for a detailed register of lobbyists in open data format, which includes corporate in-house lobbying teams.
The lobbying bill currently moving through Parliament is a serious concern for CAFOD. The bill had the potential to meet our asks and offer real transparency around the lobbying activities of powerful global food companies. However, in reality - if passed into law in its current form – the bill will have very little impact as it only covers a small portion of lobbying activity.
Dom Goggins, CAFOD’s government and parliamentary relations coordinator, said: “There is nothing more powerful than when we speak to the government with one voice. Signing an action card may seem like a small act, but it is part of a bigger picture. Now, thousands of us have spoken out against world hunger and in particular have asked for transparent lobbying to deliver greater confidence in government decision-making. The current lobbying bill doesn’t deliver that, but if the government stops, rethinks and listens to the concerns being raised, we could have a bill that not only offers real transparency, but answers the call of over 50,000 citizens.”
The Hungry for change campaign will now continue until Lent 2014. We still need empowering aid for small scale farmers and the UK government has not yet committed to providing greater support. If you haven’t already, please add your name to the Hungry for change campaign and help us keep up the pressure.
And the situation is only getting worse for small-scale farmers and those others living in the world’s poorest communities. Our new report - What have we done? - highlights the devastating impact of climate change on the livelihoods of the most vulnerable communities and suggests actions for governments, and changes we can make in our own lives to become better stewards of Creation.