Local MP joins campaigners to launch national 'Enough Food For Everyone IF' campaign in Rochester
By cgirvine | Thursday, January 31, 2013, 13:08
On Wednesday 30 January, the Rt Rev Dr Brian Castle, the
Launch of IF campaign at Rochester Cathedral 1
Launch of IF campaign at Rochester Cathedral 2
Bishop of Tonbridge, helped launch 'Enough Food for Everyone IF', a national
multi-agency campaign calling for an end to global hunger. He was joined
outside Rochester Cathedral by the Very Rev Dr Mark Beach, Dean of Rochester
Cathedral, Mark Reckless, MP for Rochester and Strood, Emma Kevan, Regional
Coordinator for Christian Aid and by local supporters representing some of the
100 charities and agencies taking part.
'Enough Food for Everyone IF' is the largest coalition of
its kind in the UK since Make Poverty History in 2005. The coalition warns that
despite there being enough food in the world for everyone, nearly one billion
people go to bed hungry every night, and two million children die from
malnutrition every year.
The campaign calls on Prime Minister David Cameron to use
the UK's G8 presidency in 2013 to take action on the root causes of the hunger
crisis in the poorest countries.
The 'IF' movement challenges the Prime Minister to tackle
4 big IFs to ensure there is enough food for everyone:
• IF we stop poor farmers being forced off their land,
and use the available agricultural land
to grow food for people, not biofuels for cars.
• IF governments keep their promises on aid, invest to
stop children dying from malnutrition and help the poorest people feed
themselves through investment in small farmers.
• IF governments close loopholes to stop big companies
dodging tax in poor countries, so that millions of people can free themselves
• IF we force governments and investors to be honest and
open about the deals they make in the poorest countries that stop people
getting enough food.
Speaking at the regional launch in Rochester, the Rt Revd
Dr Brian Castle, Bishop of Tonbridge, said "For some years I was a parish
priest working in Zambia, and one of the saddest things I had to do was to bury
young people, who simply died of hunger. But before it gets to that extreme,
hunger brings tiredness and lethargy which means people can't concentrate,
can't take advantage of education, and find it difficult to work. When we think
about the significance of hunger – if we're able to combat it, not only are we
saving lives, but we're raising potential."
Bishop Brian urged those gathered to spread the word,
saying "I'm totally supportive of this campaign – let's share the message that
ending hunger is within our reach."
Mark Reckless, Conservative Member of Parliament for
Rochester and Strood, helped unveil the 'Enough Food for Everyone IF' banner at
Rochester Cathedral, and pledged his support for the aims of the campaign. He
said: "The idea of having a law [to spend 0.7 per cent on aid] is something I
rather like the idea of, because a problem with government spending is that
there is not enough parliamentary control. For that reason, I would support
bringing policy in this area into law.
He added: "On the point of transparency and tax, if it's
known what multinationals pay in various jurisdictions, then you can put public
pressure on them to pay their fair share."
Emma Kevan, Christian Aid's Regional Coordinator for Kent
said: "If we can get greater international tax transparency, it will make it
harder for money to be hidden in tax havens. This will mean that all
governments will have more money to boost farming and nutrition which will
allow people to help themselves. We really need to raise our voices through
this campaign and improve things for everybody."
More information about the campaign and other events
taking place can be found by visiting the website: http://enoughfoodif.org