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Opinion Pieces Address Issues Surrounding Nutrition For Growth, G8 Meetings

On June 8, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron co-hosted the Nutrition for Growth summit in London, ahead of hosting the G8 meeting later in the month. The following opinion pieces address issues surrounding the summits and the global campaign against hunger.

  • Kirtana Chandrasekaran and Nnimmo Bassey, The Guardian’s Poverty Matters Blog: The G8 “meeting is expected to expand the G8’s New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, a special initiative launched in 2012 to mobilize private capital for investment in African agriculture,” Chandrasekaran of Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and Bassey of Friends of the Earth International, write. However, the “New Alliance prioritizes unprecedented access for multinational companies to resources in Africa,” making it “a flawed project,” they write, concluding, “Continuing to pursue it will cast a shadow on Cameron’s commitment to ending hunger” (6/7).
  • Jamie Cooper-Hohn, Huffington Post’s “Global Motherhood” blog: “We have a unique window of opportunity now to marshal the global coalescence around the nutrition agenda and to tackle the root cause of child mortality and economic underachievement,” Cooper-Hohn, president and CEO of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, a co-sponsor of the Nutrition for Growth summit, writes. The conference will “take action in partnership and make a lasting change for all children around the world,” she says (6/8).
  • Nick Deardon, The Guardian’s “Comment is Free” blog: Deardon, director of Jubilee Debt Campaign, notes that “Africa’s farmers labeled [the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition] a ‘new wave of colonialism’ because countries taking part in new alliance pilots are told, for instance, to make it easier for foreign corporations to buy up agricultural land and end trade protection.” He continues, “The concentration of power in the hands of corporations, especially financial business, is at the core of global injustices such as the deprivation of food” (6/9).
  • Pascale Fritsch, The Guardian’s “Global Development Professionals Network” blog: The Nutrition for Growth summit “is a perfect opportunity to raise the issue of undernutrition in older people in humanitarian crises,” Fritsch, emergency health and nutrition adviser for HelpAge International, writes. “By advocating to policymakers, [non-governmental organizations (NGOs)], donors and U.N. agencies and training humanitarian and health workers involved in nutrition programs, as well as by building evidence of older people’s vulnerability for undernutrition and developing guidelines for interventions, the development community can bring the right of older people to proper nutrition to the attention of the humanitarian community,” she states (6/8).
  • Rick Leach, Huffington Post’s “Global Motherhood” blog: “We are proud to celebrate this month a major milestone in global progress on maternal and child health: the thousandth day since the international community committed to Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN),” Leach, president and CEO of the World Food Program USA, writes. He concludes, “Focusing on nutrition means bringing partners together to invest in the future of mothers and children. We hope all Americans will join us in ensuring that for every child, the first 1,000 days mark the beginning of a life full of promise” (6/7).
  • Jay Naidoo, Project Syndicate: “We need the political will to tackle malnutrition now, with access to nutritious food recognized as a fundamental human right,” Naidoo, chair of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), writes. He details different steps to tackling malnutrition, including focusing on newborns’ first 1,000 days of life, women, and partnership. “By investing now in nutrition and improved food security, by 2020 we can lift 50 million people out of poverty, prevent stunting in 20 million children under the age of five, and save 1.7 million lives,” he concludes (6/8).
  • Alex Renton, The Guardian: The Nutrition for Growth summit — “attended by no significant G8 figure other than Cameron himself — is more evidence that the ability of grand red-carpet summits to address issues such as world food supply may be over. Both the G20 and the G8 have proved big on promises but not so hot on delivery,” journalist Renton writes in an analysis. “Whatever measures to tackle the problem of 870 million malnourished people are announced by the G8 this month, without China’s commitment they lack much significance,” he adds (6/8). In a related piece, Renton outlines “eight ways to solve world hunger” (6/8).
  • Samuel Worthington, Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog: “As world leaders tackle hunger, poor nutrition and extreme poverty, they need to ensure their solutions are not top down,” Worthington, president of InterAction, writes. “Farmers, particularly women farmers, must be central to any strategy and not an afterthought,” and they “must drive the decisions made at today’s Nutrition for Growth event and this month’s G8 summit if we are sincere in our mission to end extreme poverty,” he concludes (6/8).