News story

PM puts the Olympic spotlight on global hunger and malnutrition

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

Downing Street brings together world leaders to tackle malnutrition for millions of children around the world.

Prime Minister David Cameron and Vice President Michel Temer of Brazil will challenge world leaders to improve the lives of 170 million malnourished children around the globe at a hunger summit hosted at Number 10 tomorrow.

Almost one in three of the world’s poorest children cannot reach their full potential due to malnutrition. As the Olympics draw to a close, the Prime Minister and Vice President want to harness the attention around London 2012 to help improve children’s nutrition between now and the next Games in 2016.

Speaking ahead of the event, Mr Cameron said:

I wanted to do this during the Olympic Games. We’re all thinking about the next gold medal, but there are millions of children around the world who are thinking, ‘am I going to get the next meal?’

There are 170 million children who are malnourished. In some cases, tragically, it results in death but in a lot of cases it results in stunting; it means that people don’t reach their full potential.

I think it’s good that while the world’s looking at London, they’re not just seeing a great country, a great city, a great Olympic Games, but they’re seeing a country that actually cares about the poorest in the world.

A new global target to reduce the number of stunted children by 70 million by 2025 has been agreed by the World Health Assembly. The event will bring together leaders, athletes and representatives from business and NGOs to help strengthen these commitments and bring in new champions to support the global movement.

Mr Cameron added:

I want to ensure that these Olympics also provide a lasting legacy for more children in the world’s poorest countries.

We want to use the summit to find new ways of tackling malnutrition - fostering innovation in biotechnology, encouraging stronger co-operation between governments and ensuring better accountability by Governments who receive aid. For every £1 spent effectively tackling malnutrition, £30 of benefits are generated.

This Sunday, we hope to agree a package of measures that will transform the lives of millions of children before the Rio Olympic Games 2016 and we will lay down the gauntlet to the rest of the world to take more decisive action before the 2016 Olympic Games so that many more can fulfil their potential too”.

View the story “Global Hunger Event” on Storify

External site: DFID Global Hunger Event, 12 August 2012