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World Leaders, Athletes Gather For 'Hunger Summit' At Conclusion Of Olympic Games In London

As the 2012 Olympic Games drew to a close in London on Sunday, world leaders and athletes gathered for a hunger summit at 10 Downing St., sponsored by U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, Al Jazeera reports (8/12). The “summit brought together leaders from Brazil, Kenya, Bangladesh, India and Ireland,” the Associated Press notes (8/12). “This meeting … hopes to draw the media spotlight toward the nearly one billion people worldwide who suffer from hunger and malnutrition,” the Examiner writes (Lambers, 8/10). “The U.K. hopes to get commitments from other world leaders and multinational firms to help prevent 25 million children aged under five suffering stunted growth by the time of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,” according to International Business Times TV (Salter, 8/13). The country “hopes to use its presidency of the G8 group of wealthy nations, starting next year, to build international support for action to prevent millions of deaths a year due to malnutrition,” BBC News writes (8/12).

Several athletes wrote an open letter to Cameron ahead of the summit, BBC notes in a separate video report (8/12). According to the U.K. Press Association, the letter “calls for Britain to use the success of the London Games to push forward action to tackle child malnutrition in poor countries” and says that based “on present trends there will be more than three million more stunted children across Africa by the time of the Rio Games” (8/12). “Aside from raising the profile of child stunting as a global development issue, the event appears part of the U.K. government’s push to continue asserting its leadership on development,” the Devex “Development News Wire” writes, adding, “It is also yet another way for his government to convince a skeptical U.K. public that foreign aid — which it has ring-fenced from austerity cuts — is a sound investment” (Mungcal, 8/9).