Hunger summit explained

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The high-level event on hunger and nutrition, hosted by UK Prime Minister David Cameron in London on 12 August 2012, brings together world leaders, NGOs and leading business people, to discuss ways to address hunger and undernutrition in some of the world's poorest countries.

Why is it important?

Oxfam and other agencies are currently responding to an unprecedented number of food-related emergencies in West Africa, East Africa, Yemen, Democratic Republic of Congo and Afghanistan. As a result, an additional 43 million people are going hungry worldwide this year. And millions of children are now at risk of acute malnutrition. Unless action is taken urgently, many more could fall victim.

What you can do

One of the major crises where people are currently going hungry is in West Africa. While the UK government has delivered its fair share of funding for this crisis, we need a million signatures to demand concrete action from other leaders - and we are halfway there. Help us reach one million. Sign the petition and spread the word.

Why now?

Because the world is watching. With a global audience of billions tuning in to watch the Olympic Games, the timing of the summit - on the last day of London 2012 - is intended to focus maximum international attention on combating hunger and malnutrition. Cameron is hoping measures agreed at the summit will "transform the lives of millions of children" before the Rio Olympics in 2016. The summit is co-hosted by Brazil's Vice President Michel Temer.

What Oxfam is saying

This weekend's summit is welcome, and we are pleased the Prime Minister David Cameron is taking a leadership role on tackling hunger.

In the short term, we need urgent action to help the worst affected countries. All countries must commit to paying their fair share of the global aid effort for West Africa. Leaders must act now to protect families in desperate need across the region.

But short-term action alone is not enough, and we hope the UK Government will continue to lead the way on tackling hunger and making sure everyone has enough food to eat. The sheer scale of the crises of recent years shows there is something fundamentally wrong with the way we produce and distribute food - we cannot keep relying on humanitarian agencies to pick up the pieces. Leaders must commit to supporting vulnerable farmers, so they can feed themselves and lift their communities out of poverty. The summit must be a first step towards real reforms that end the scandal of almost a billion hungry people in a world that produces enough food for everyone.

Demand concrete action from leaders. Sign the petition and spread the word