This weekend, amid key discussions on the future of Afghanistan and media attention on the strained relationship between the United States and Pakistan, members of the Group of Eight (G8) announced its commitment to the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition which will seek to “lift 50 million people out of poverty over the next 10 years through inclusive and sustained agricultural growth.”
In a speech given at the Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security last Friday (May 18), President Barack Obama laid out his vision for what the Alliance could achieve, in co-operation with the private and non-profit sectors, in terms of seeing global hunger eradicated in the next decade. On tackling hunger, he stated:
“It's a moral imperative, it's an economic imperative, and it is a security imperative. For we’ve seen how spikes in food prices can plunge millions into poverty, which, in turn, can spark riots that cost lives, and can lead to instability. And this danger will only grow if a surging global population isn’t matched by surging food production. So reducing malnutrition and hunger around the world advances international peace and security -- and that includes the national security of the United States.”
And we are not going to let him forget this moral duty. In an advertisement taken out in The Washington Post the same day, 20 leading faith-based humanitarian organizations urged the president to follow through on one particularly key issue – tackling child hunger – and in doing so, help create a hunger-free world. Sojourners and its President, Jim Wallis, were signatories on the ad (click on photo to enlarge), which urges President Obama and other political leaders to remember the 3,623, 013 children who will die before their fifth birthday between now the general election in November – for the most part from completely preventable diseases or circumstances.
At a time when how we spend our money is becoming increasingly divided down partisan lines, Sojourners and the other signatories of the letter are urging the President and those entrusted with making this country’s economic decisions to ensure that the children of this world don’t fall foul of such partisanship. As President Obama stated in his address, tackling hunger around the world, and especially in children, is a moral, a security and an economic imperative.
We must ensure that children in the developing world are not the casualties of political in-fighting during an election year. In tackling this issue, we urgently need to cut through the partisan rhetoric that is defining this election year is vital which is, in no uncertain terms, a matter of life and death.
Jack Palmer is Communications Associate for Sojourners. Follow him on Twitter @jackpalmer88