Gates and Tutu back hunger campaign
Published 23/01/2013 | 07:00
Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu have thrown their weight behind a new campaign aiming to combat malnutrition and hunger in the developing world.
One hundred development and faith British charities have united behind the Enough Food For Everyone IF coalition, urging Prime Minister David Cameron to use the UK's G8 presidency in 2013 to tackle the causes of hunger in the developing world.
The campaign, being billed as the largest coalition of its kind in the UK since Make Poverty History in 2005, warns that the "scandal" of children growing up hungry will trap almost a billion young people in poverty by 2025 and cost the developed world £78 billion over the next 15 years.
Mr Tutu, the former Archbishop of Cape Town and a long-serving human rights campaigner, said: "Hunger is not an incurable disease or an unavoidable tragedy. We can make sure no child goes to bed hungry.
"We can stop mothers from starving themselves to feed their families. We can save lives.
"We can do all of this, if we are prepared to do something about it. If we challenge our leaders to take action. If they listen to us.
"It's time the world's decision-makers came to the right decision on hunger.
"It's time to end the unnecessary suffering caused by the failure of the current food system. We can make hunger a thing of the past if we act now."
Billionaire Mr Gates is also well-known for his philanthropic work through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, most notably in combating malaria.
The IF campaign will be formally launched at Somerset House in London, at an event expected to feature celebrities including actors Bill Nighy, Keeley Hawes and Bonnie Wright, Senegalese musician Baaba Maal, former athletes Denise Lewis and Colin Jackson, and ex-England rugby captain Matt Dawson. Other events will take place across the UK.