More people are hungry than ever before … what can we do?

I was shocked to read the following alert from the campaigning organisation Avaaz.org, which I received from them by e-mail (because I have signed previous petitions from them), and which is part of the text of a letter which I am encouraged to pass on to others, and which can be read in full here:

The world produces enough food to feed everyone. Yet the number of people suffering from chronic hunger across the planet has reached the record-high figure of 1 billion this year.

Hundreds of billions are spent by wealthy governments to bail out banks and financial institutions, but the G8 countries are trying to cut a promised $20 billion commitment to agricultural investment to only $3 billion in new money. With literally millions of lives on the line, this is a scandal.

Yes, more people are hungry than ever before, and their number has now reached one billion! Apparently earlier this year wealthy countries, including my own, promised to do something about this, but are now going back on their commitment. Yes, we have our own problems in the West, but nearly all of us have enough to eat. So we really should meet our commitments to help those who do not, and who have become poorer than ever largely because of side effects of an economic crisis largely caused by us in the West.

What can we do about it? Well, when we get the chance to vote we can tell our governments what we think about their policies. And we don’t have to wait to sign the petition which Avaaz.org is promoting, which I just signed. Here is more of their letter:

With the recent financial crisis, poverty is skyrocketing in poorer countries, with 1 in 6 people on the planet now facing life-threatening hunger.

Next week, leaders will meet at the World Food Summit in Rome to address this growing crisis. The best solution is funding to boost sustainable agriculture in poorer countries, but France, Germany, UK, Italy and Japan are backing out on a $20 billion promise made earlier this year.

Millions of lives are on the line. Sign the petition below for rich countries to keep their promises, and it will be delivered directly to world leaders through a spectacular stunt at the Roman Colosseum on the eve of the Summit:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/world_hunger_pledges/98.php?CLICK_TF_TRACK

The world produces enough food to feed everyone. Yet the number of people suffering from chronic hunger across the planet has reached the record-high figure of 1 billion this year.

By taking the kind of action which Avaaz.org is promoting, we can all, without spending even one penny, put effective pressure on our political leaders and actually do something practical about world hunger.

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