News story

Food for the Olympians of the future

In an exclusive interview with First News, the PM says he hopes to harness the attention around London 2012 to tackle global hunger and malnutrition.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

External site: First News - the national children’s newspaper.

The Olympics have been an exciting time for all of us in Britain. I’ve been lucky enough to see some of the sports live. And I’ve also been meeting people from around the world, who have come here to enjoy the Games.

It’s been a lot of fun - but it’s also important to remember that there are people in the world who are not as fortunate as we are in Britain. In some countries, children don’t have enough to eat and their parents can’t afford to buy food. That’s wrong, it doesn’t have to happen and I think we should help make things better.

The hunger summit

That’s why I decided to bring together some of the people coming to the Olympics to do something about the problem. We’re organising what we call a ‘hunger summit’ with politicians from around the world, business leaders, scientists and sports stars too, to find some answers.

The idea is that as well as being a great couple of weeks, the London Olympics will do something good for the future too, by making the lives of children better.

A big task ahead

It’s a big task, because sadly the problem is a really big one. Malnutrition - which means not having enough to eat - kills 2.6 million children around the world each year and 170 million more suffer from stunting, which means their bodies and minds do not grow and develop properly.

For these kids, the prospect of representing their country in a sport will never be more than a dream; not because they weren’t born with the potential to achieve great things, but because hunger is stopping them from developing properly.

Britain has done a lot over the last decade to help countries sort out their problems, including providing schools for children to go to and textbooks to use. Now we have got to help them get enough of the right kinds of foods to eat, too.

What’s the solution?

What do you think the best answers are? You might think that all we need to do is send food from Britain, where we have lots of it. That’s the right thing to do when there is a big emergency like a famine. We did it last year when crops failed in Somalia in East Africa, for instance.

But a much better answer is to help countries grow better food, and more of it, so that people don’t have to rely on help from abroad. We need to use science to develop crops that can better withstand drought. And we need to make sure that leaders in the poorest countries use the aid they receive to help those that need it most.

One meeting can’t fix everything. But the Olympics are a really good chance to shine a light on the problem and to get people working together to find the clever solutions we need.

Proud to be British

We can be proud of our spectacular Olympics and I am really proud too that Britain is doing something to help ensure that children all over the world get the healthy diet they need so they too can become the Olympians of the future.

Published 10 August 2012