The shocking increase in the scourge of hunger (Billion go hungry as rich countries fail to pay up, Oxfam says, October 16) has led many organisations in developing countries to rename October 16 as World Foodless Day. We support them and want to point out that the situation is even worse than your report suggests: many of the hungry are farmers forced off their lands. The millennium development goal of halving hunger is fading.
Governments have not accepted responsibility for this failure to ensure their citizens' right to food, nor are they prepared to call to account those who caused and have profited from the food crisis. While bankers wallow in trillions of dollars of state aid, the hungry are being forgotten, yet the causes and impacts are similar: irresponsible speculation and unfair global trading for which the poor pay the final price. Hunger, it seems, is the inconvenient fallout of our globalised food system.
We need deep-rooted changes in how agriculture is practised, commodities are traded, and the food system is organised and regulated. The necessary changes, towards localised food sovereignty through sustainable production, were highlighted by the UN/World Bank international agricultural assessment, which our government approved in June. With hunger such a scar on humanity, why does the government remain silent about implementing its findings?
Belinda Calaguas ActionAid UK, Linda Craig PAN-UK, John Hilary War on Want, Vicki Hird Friends of the Earth, Robin Maynard Soil Association, Daleep Mukarji Christian Aid, Patrick Mulvany Practical Action, Helena Paul Econexus, Pete Riley GM Freeze, Dan Taylor Find Your Feet, Julia Wright Garden Organic