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Ensuring G20 keeps its promises

Concern Worldwide and other charities in the UK Hunger Alliance are calling on the G20 to release promised funds to stop more people from going hungry as food prices skyrocket once again.

Soaring food prices

Food prices in the world’s poorest countries reached record levels in February 2011 and people continue to struggle to feed their families. The cost of everyday goods has spiked considerably. The poorest people have resorted to drastic measures such as eating fewer meals and selling their land and livestock just to survive.

Desperate measures

Families are cutting back on healthcare and taking their children out of school just to cope with the rise in food prices. Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya are among the countries hardest hit by these soaring food prices. 

Concern’s Natalie Duck, chair of the UK Hunger Alliance, said:

We are seeing families taking desperate measures at the risk of their own health. In 2008, rising food prices pushed 105 million people into extreme poverty. It would only take a 10%rise in domestic food prices within Asian countries to push an extra 64 million people into poverty this year.

Promised funds

In 2009, the G20 pledged billions of pounds to help eliminate hunger in the poorest countries. However, these funds are yet to be released by governments. In addition, last week G20 agriculture ministers failed to put in place concrete measures needed to support vulnerable groups such as women farmers and children. 

Brendan Cox, director of policy and advocacy at Save the Children, said:

Unless the G20 takes urgent action, more children will go hungry, be forced into work or prostitution, and see their parents struggle to earn a living.

Food price report

The UK Hunger Alliance has five urgent recommendations for the G20. They are listed in a report entitled: “Tackling the High Food Price Challenge.”

UK Hunger Alliance members contributing to the report include: Action Against Hunger, Care International, Concern Worldwide, Save the Children, Tearfund, World Vision.