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What happened at the G8 summit?

In March 2011, world leaders met in France to discuss issues ranging from the Middle East to climate change. But hunger wasn’t high up on the agenda and the outcome was underwhelming.

At the 2009 G8 summit, wealthy countries promised to support poor farmers in the world’s poorest countries. This issue was due to be discussed last week at the 2011 G8 summit and we were hopeful that wealthy countries would renew their commitment to ending world hunger.

Broken promises

Although the UK government has reaffirmed its intention to distribute all £1.1 billion of aid promised to tackle hunger in 2009, other G8 countries have failed to follow through. Overall, although 85% of the promised funds for agricultural support and hunger reduction have been mobilised across the G8, less than a quarter of the aid has actually been spent.

Action needed

G8 countries need to turn their promises into action. The 2011 G20 summit offers a glimmer of hope, with food security firmly on the summit’s agenda. We hope that at that event governments will prove they are keeping their promises on aid.

Smallholder farmers, especially women, are in desperate need of this support. Concern works with these farmers in 25 countries, so we know how difficult their lives are, and that with the right support, things could be different.