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Making a statement about hunger

Renowned Irish street artist Maser astounded passersby as he painted the appalling statistics about world hunger across a purpose built 10 foot wall, in Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, Dublin.

This was part of an event to launch details of a major world conference to be held at the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham on 16 October. Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations and founder of the UN Hunger Task Force, will be the keynote speaker at the conference, entitled “Fighting Hunger”

Tom Arnold, CEO of Concern Worldwide and Dublin schoolchildren Eoin, Niamh, Veronica and Tanya, were also on hand to help put the finishing touches to the mural. Each was wearing a red scarf to raise awareness of the struggles people in the developing world are facing every day.

Ilo’s red scarf

The red scarf tells the real-life story of Ilo, a 30-year-old Kenyan farmer, who ties her red shawl around her waist to kill hunger pangs. Ilo often goes days without eating; the hungrier she gets the tighter she pulls the scarf around her waist.

Hunger season

The Fighting Hunger conference is the first step of Concern’s “People in the Hunger Season” campaign. Today there are more than 900 million people in the world who are starving. Almost 10 million children below the age of five die every year, and malnutrition is the underlying factor in one-third to one-half of these deaths.

Every five seconds a child in the developing world dies of hunger. This means that 17,000 children who were alive today will be dead tomorrow and that continues day after day after day. By the end of this week, 120,000 children will have died, the equivalent of wiping out the entire population of Roscommon and Sligo in seven days.

New approaches

Hosted by Concern, the Fighting Hunger conference will unite policymakers from Africa, the US and Europe to address the ongoing hunger crisis and call for new approaches in tackling this issue. Tom Arnold will lead the debate, discussing the effects of rising food prices, the political challenges involved and the need for new partnerships and innovation to tackle this global scandal.

Click here to read about Concern’s Hunger Monitor report, which focuses on the key trends affecting those most at risk.