London hosts mass anti-hunger rally ahead of G8 summit in N. Ireland
Thousands of Britons have gathered in London's Hyde Park to demand action on ending world hunger as Prime Minister David Cameron hosted talks on malnutrition ahead of the G8 summit.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle were among those who took to the stage at the rally organised by the 'Enough Food for Everyone - IF' campaign.
“Anyone who says that we can't crack the hunger crisis is wrong,” Boyle, who directed the opening ceremony of last year's London Olympic Games, told the crowd basking in the summer sunshine.
"This is my dream - it's a passionate dream - that in Olympics to come there will be no one dying of hunger in any of the countries whose wonderful flags wave in the wind. And it is a fight that will be won.”
The rally, ten days ahead of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland on June 17-18, was timed to coincide with a meeting of governments, NGOs, businesses and global organisations on how to tackle the scourge of malnutrition.
Cameron hosted the talks with Brazilian Vice President Michel Temer, which resulted in fresh pledges worth up to $4.15 billion by 2020 and new commitments to tackle the problem.
The chronic lack of nutrients leads to the deaths of 8000 children each day, making it the biggest underlying cause of death in the under-fives, according to Britain's development ministry.
Children who survive are often stunted and this reduces their ability to earn money when they grow up, in turn slashing economic growth by up to 11 per cent in the worst affected countries.
Representatives of 19 African countries, numerous donor countries including the United States and Japan, the EU, World Bank, World Health Organisation, UNICEF and charities joined the meeting.