IF campaign: Miliband and MPs tell Religious to keep up the momentum
Enough Food for Everyone IF Religious lobby of parliament [Photo credit: Geoff Caddick/PA]
Alan Duncan, Minister of State for DFID with campaigners
Glenda Jackson MP talks to constituents
Campaigners fly the banner for the IF campaign outside parliament
Ed Milliband talks to campaigners at Religious lobby of parliament
Joan Ruddock MP stands with constituents campaigning on hunger
Priests, nuns, friars and vicars get together to shout about global hunger
A religious lobby at Parliament where monks and nuns spoke to MPs about the importance of company reporting
“Religious have been acting on justice for centuries” Chris Bain, CAFOD Director
Labour party leader Ed Miliband and international development minister Alan Duncan were among over 50 MPs and researchers who met priests, nuns, friars and vicars about global hunger in a mass lobby of parliament in support of the Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign.
Arriving in Westminster in their hundreds, they had a clear message: there is enough food for everyone, but not everyone gets enough. This must change.
Put pressure on the G8
Ed Miliband said, "I want to pay tribute to CAFOD and the incredible work CAFOD does - they're not only a fantastic organisation, but an organisation that is literally changing and saving lives around the world. I warmly endorse the IF campaign. It's a very easy campaign to remember: it's about aid, it's about tax and it's about transparency. All of these things make an enormous difference to people in the world.
"Keep the pressure on us. Keep the pressure on David Cameron and on me and on Nick Clegg to do the right thing, to do our duty as politicians, to make good on our promises and do our duty to the world.
"We have a couple of months when we have got to have the most vigorous campaigning to put the pressure on the G8. Let's remember our moral obligation to the world - that's why you're here and that's why I'm in politics."
Alan Duncan, Minister of State for the Department for International Development told campaigners: "We need you. Your enthusiasm is not only infectious but it helps us overcome the arguments of those who say we shouldn't spend money on aid for the world's most needy.
"We committed to meet the target of 0.7 per cent this year, we hit it and we will continue to hit it. We commit to spending it in ways that benefit those who most need our help."
Seeing hunger firsthand
Many of the lobby participants have lived in developing countries and seen the devastating impacts of hunger. This included Bishop Pat Lynch SSCC, who visited Mozambique a few years ago.
“I was struck by how fertile the soil was, yet people were still going hungry,” he explained. “Every day there were people lining up outside the church looking for food, and Sisters in the clinic were over run with sick children. I had to ask myself why this was happening?
“Although the aftermath of the civil war was having an impact, much of it was due to the mismanagement of land by multi-national companies. Small farmers couldn't get seeds to grow food for their families because the focus was on growing for export.”
Clare Lyons, CAFOD Head of Campaigns, spoke at the event, and explained how inspired she was by those attending.
“Religious communities have an incredibly important role to play in this campaign. It was amazing to see so many people come together, driven by their faith. There were young and old, those who lived locally, and others lived and worked as far away as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Bolivia.”
Today was just the beginning. Next month the G8 arrive in the UK, which provides us with a real opportunity to tell world leaders to act.
On 8 June we’ll join with the other IF campaign partners in London. The day will start with an ecumenical service with Archbishop Vincent Nichols. This will be followed by huge rally in Hyde Park with music, speeches and fun activities for all the family.
Clare Lyons continued, “The religious lobby has shown what is possible when we all come together. Next it’s over to you to take things one step further. Please join is in London on 8 June.” Register now for the ecumenical service and Hyde Park rally on 8 June >>
The scandal of hunger
Hunger is the greatest scandal of our age because the problem isn’t a shortage of food. Inequalities in our system that controls the production and distribution of food mean that hungry people don’t get what they need.
That’s why we’ve joined the Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign. Along with over 200 other organisations we’re calling on world leaders to make 2013 the beginning of the end of global hunger.