Are you a fan of the Olympics? Is it weird that I'm more interested in the just announced summit on hunger and malnutrition, scheduled to be held during the 2012 Olympics in London, than I am about the Olympics itself?
UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced today that he's using this unique opportunity to highlight one of the world's biggest challenges in front of a captive audience of millions. The UK will be hosting a major event on hunger and malnutrition, building on the momentum of President Barack Obama's recent announcement that he'd be leading similar efforts, with a "new alliance" on hunger and food security.
An increase in world food prices, an urgent need to address the increasing world population, and a focus on Africa's potential to be a leading world food supplier means we're living in a critical moment in time. Figuring out how we're going to feed the world's hungry as we barrel towards a world of 9 billion people is what this is all about.
The Guardian UK's Global Development blog asked advocacy groups what they thought of this push to focus on combating hunger and poverty, during the 2012 Olympic Games. Unsurprisingly, they embrace the idea:
Justin Forsyth, the chief executive of Save the Children, said: "Save the Children is delighted that the prime minister has decided to hold a world hunger summit during the Olympics. He should be applauded for picking up the baton following the recent G8. "With over 100 heads of state visiting, the Olympics offer a unique opportunity to leave a global legacy beyond sport. By galvanising other world leaders, the private sector, charities, and the public, the prime minister can help save millions of children's lives, who are facing a daily battle with hunger."