A Guide to IF

Background to the IF campaign

Hunger is a great scandal of our age. Nearly one billion people go to bed hungry every night and three million children die from malnutrition every year.

In 2013, the Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign focused on two important events that offered a huge opportunity to make progress in the fight to end global hunger:

  • The UK government pledged to provide 0.7% of national income for life-saving aid. We needed to make sure they turned that promise into reality in March’s Budget.
  • In June, the world's most powerful leaders met in the UK at the G8 Summit - with our government as hosts. We needed to press world leaders to tackle the root causes of hunger, which leave so many people without enough food.

 

What issues did the IF campaign want addressed?

Aid Enough Food For Everyone IF we give life-saving aid to stop children dying from hunger and help the poorest families feed themselves.

Tax Enough Food For Everyone IF governments stop big companies dodging tax in poor countries, so millions of people can free themselves from hunger.

Land Enough Food For Everyone IF we stop poor farmers being forced off their land, and we grow crops for food, not fuel.

TransparencyEnough Food For Everyone IF governments and big companies are honest about their actions that stop people getting enough food.

 

Who was involved in the IF campaign?

Thousands of people across the UK supported Enough Food For Everyone IF, taking part in our actions to send the campaign’s messages to the UK government, holding meetings and events, taking part in stunts and attending huge rallies. There were also activities for young people, for schools and for faith groups.

Behind the scenes, IF was supported by a coalition of over 200 charities and organisations from across the UK.

 

What happened during the IF campaign?

IF had a packed calendar of events. Highlights included:

  • 24 national and regional launches across the UK, with big events taking place in London, Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast.
  • The Budget - We ran an email campaign to MPs in the weeks approaching the Budget, and also encouraged IF supporters to meet with their locals MPs and to write directly to the Chancellor to stress the importance of honouring the UK government’s pledge to spend 0.7% national income on aid. The day before the Budget itself, hundreds of IF campaigners offered George Osborne a very visible reminder as they took to London’s streets dressed as the man himself.
  • Big IF rallies - We staged ’10 days to tackle hunger’ in the run-up to the G8 Summit, beginning with a Global Day of Action on 7 June. The next day, 45,000 packed out Hyde Park at our Big IF London rally, with thousands gathering again a week later in Belfast, just 48 hours before the start of the G8 meeting.

 

What did the IF campaign achieve?

We managed to get our issues into the heart of discussions at the G8 Summit, and that wouldn’t have been possible without the actions of thousands of you campaigning across the UK.

Nutrition and aid

  • In the Budget, the Chancellor committed to spending 0.7% of national income on life-changing aid.
  • Ahead of the G8, an additional £2.7 billion was pledged by governments and other donors to tackle malnutrition, which could save the lives of almost 2 million children by 2020.
  • We also called for investment to help poor countries adapt to the effects of climate change. Though the G8 repeated its promise to provide finance, it’s vital that progress is made at the UN climate talks in November 2013.
  • However, the G8 missed the chance to support the small-scale farmers who feed a third of the world’s population.

We’ve seen historic breakthroughs in the fight against hunger. We now need to ensure that the Chancellor sticks to his commitment and that donors stump up cash as quickly as possible. Hungry children can’t wait.

Tax and transparency

  • In March, hundreds of IF campaigners lobbied local MPs and thousands wrote letters to the Chancellor calling on him to reform UK tax laws in the Budget, which would have helped developing countries recover the taxes they’re owed. But the Treasury didn’t heed our calls, so there’s still much to do.
  • However, George Osborne couldn’t ignore our calls to tackle the ‘elephant in the room’ – the UK’s own tax havens in overseas territories and crown dependencies. At the Trade, Transparency and Tax summit in June, all UK tax havens committed to sign a convention which would help improve transparency.
  • Thousands of you attended our massive Big IF rallies, putting huge pressure on the G8 to set out the great ambition to tackle tax dodging, which they did days later at their Summit. But more work is needed to turn this ambition into real action that will help poor countries.

The public argument for a crackdown on tax dodging has been won, but the political battle remains. Future G8 and G20 Summits must urgently finish this job.

Land and biofuels

  • IF campaigners ensured that the issue of land-grabbing in developing countries was discussed at the G8 and then acknowledged in the Summit’s final declaration. World leaders, as well as the UK Department for International Development, are keen to build on this and develop land rights as a wider area of UK expertise. The key win was getting the issue on to the G8 agenda at all – this wouldn’t have happened without your campaigning.
  • Justine Greening, the International Development Secretary, and the Prime Minister also recognised the fact that biofuel production should not undermine food security.

Far more is needed – the G8 needs to show it will deal with the problem by regulating G8-based companies involved in land deals, and leading more ambitious global efforts to tackle land grabs.

 

What’s next?

The IF campaign has now come to an end, but the work of our 208 member organisations, both big and small, continues. Whether their area of concern involves fighting hunger, tackling tax dodging or changing the way we eat and shop, the movement to end hunger and poverty will continue.

You can also carry on the work of IF in your own food and lifestyle choices. In today’s globalised world, the things we buy and how we live can have a big impact on hunger and poverty. Buying fair trade products, loving leftovers and choosing food that helps keep the planet healthy are all choices that can help influence others and ensure there is enough food for everyone.

Throughout 2013, we’ve made great progress in tackling some of the underlying causes of hunger, thanks to the support of thousands of people across the UK who have made their voices heard. We’ve still got a long way to go, but change takes time and we’ve made a great start.

Thank you for your support.