All you need is aid

And so it came to pass. The resounding message coming out of this weekend’s hunger summit and IF campaign event was exactly as predicted: more charity is needed to solve Africa’s problems, not structural change. Aid agencies declared themselves thrilled at the generosity of donor governments, while David Cameron got the ‘golden moment’ he desired courtesy of Bill Gates and other celebrity endorsements. Any criticism of the G8’s corporate assault on African farming by means of the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition was relegated to the sidelines. The following summary of news coverage gives a flavour:

UK commits £375m to help feed world’s poorest children (BBC News)
The G8 food summit: World will give £2.7bn aid to end hunger (Independent on Sunday)
Bill Gates: UK leading the way in tackling world hunger (Observer)
London hunger summit yields $4bn commitment on child malnutrition (Guardian)
Britain commits to £375m extra in aid (Telegraph)
Hunger Summit secures £2.7bn as thousands rally at Hyde Park (Metro)
Britain and Bill Gates sign up to £2.7bn international fund to tackle world hunger (Express)

Morning Star front 10 June 2013All those IF campaign members who assured us that this time it would not be about aid might like to explain the above headlines. For two examples of how the news could have been framed differently, see the Morning Star’s front page from today (pictured) and even a different take from the Murdoch press:

Welby: Curb the tax havens to feed poor (Sunday Times)

There have, of course, been a number of comment pieces and statements in the past few days to put an alternative view on the G8, hunger and the IF campaign; these will form a starting point for discussions at the forthcoming Progressive Development Forum to be held on 16 July, and are listed here for ease of reference:

G8 needs reminding the market doesn’t know best when it comes to hunger (Guardian)
The real winners from today’s hunger summit
(New Statesman)
G8’s new alliance for food security and nutrition is a flawed project (Guardian)
What’s the problem with the If campaign? (Red Pepper)
G8 hunger summit provokes protest and praise (New Internationalist)
Stop UK aid giveaway to multinationals (civil society sign-on statement)

Ultimately, if we wish to mobilise the British public behind any call for global justice, we cannot allow the retrogressive messaging of the aid agencies to continue unchallenged. This conviction is what brought the Progressive Development Forum together in the first place, and it’s why concerted action is more urgent than ever.

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About John Hilary

Executive Director at War on Want
This entry was posted in Events, Media. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to All you need is aid

  1. Ben Niblett says:

    More media coverage:

    John Sentamu in the Daily Telegraph ‘Ending Extremes of Inequality Around the Planet’ http://www.archbishopofyork.org/articles.php/2912/ending-extremes-of-inequality-around-the-planet

    Mirror – Vince Cable’s grandson, 10, challenges Business Secretary to do more about global hunger http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/vince-cables-grandson-10-challenges-1939446

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