Huffpost Impact

Olympics Hunger Summit To Unite World Leaders, Athletes To Tackle Issue

Posted: Updated:

There's one final Olympics event few may know about.

On Sunday, British Prime Minister David Cameron will host a hunger summit at 10 Downing Street with world leaders focused on tackling childhood hunger.

"We are thinking about the next medal, but there are millions of children around the world thinking, 'Am I going to get my next meal?'" Cameron told ITV1's Daybreak.

Gold medalist Mo Farah, who was born in Somalia, will also attend. And athletes such as David Beckham, a Unicef ambassador, have already been to Downing Street to campaign about hunger issues.

Earlier this year, nonprofit Save the Children urged Cameron to hold a "world hunger summit" during the London Olympics following a report in which the charity revealed the high rates of child malnutrition around the world.

The charity cited rising food prices and a lack of global investment in tackling malnutrition as roadblocks to fighting the issue.

"Every hour of every day, 300 children die because of malnutrition, often simply because they don't have access to the basic, nutritious foods that we take for granted in rich countries," Justin Forsyth, the chief executive of Save the Children, told the Press Association. "By acting on hunger and malnutrition, world leaders have the chance to change this for millions of children across the world."

Following Cameron's May announcement of the summit, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also released a statement calling upon the forthcoming summit to focus on investments in agriculture:

"We hope this event will build on the momentum generated by President Barack Obama’s increased commitment to nutrition and smallholder farmer productivity announced at the G8 last week. By making long-term investments in agriculture, the private sector, governments, and the wider development community can help reduce hunger and poverty, and build self-sufficiency for millions of poor farming families."

With numerous world leaders, charities and athletes present, Cameron has said it's necessary to use the Olympics to spotlight hunger issues.

Andrew Mitchell, the International Development Secretary, told BBC Radio 4's Today program that Britain -- along with Brazil, the 2016 Olympics host city, see a long-term role for the games to fight child hunger.

"It’s a chance for Britain, together with the next hosts of the Olympics –- the Brazilians -– to put a real flag in the sand about the importance of tackling malnutrition in the future."

Around the Web

The final Olympic event: The Global Hunger Summit

Olympics Hunger Summit Presents Opportunity for Progress on Global Food ...

Hunger Summit to Meet as Olympics End and Drought Worsens

Rising food prices may blight post-Olympic 'hunger summit'

Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah to join David Cameron at hunger summit