More than 250 members of religious orders and their supporters urged members of parliament to keep their promises on aid and prevent tax evasion to help end hunger worldwide, reported scotman.com.
The Catholic Agency For Overseas Development (CAFOD) organized the mass lobby as part of the “Enough Food for Everyone IF” campaign.
Members attended a service at Westminster Central Hall before walking to parliament where they met the parliamentarians.
CAFOD spokesperson Pascale Palmer said 50 parliamentarians and representatives had agreed to meet the protesters.
Sister Laurentia Carroll, a Dominican nun who was at the march, said: “The point we’re trying to make is that there’s enough food for everybody but not everybody is getting food, and one out of every eight is dying from malnutrition or starvation”
The 71-year-old nun also said another big issue that worries them is tax evasion and lack of honesty and truth in public life. “As an order we’re committed to truth in whatever shape it takes,” she added.
Some marchers said they had worked worldwide and seen the effects of poverty first hand.
Chris O’Brien, 66, a Servite Friar who had attended a meeting in India a week ago, said: “We’re very committed to trying to get a bit more aid and transparency across the world.” He said although India is progressing, it still has grass houses and people live on the streets. “So there’s a long way to go,” he added.
Sister Pat Robb CJ, one of the organizers, said in a CAFOD statement: “I believe that we are given gifts by God to share, not to use selfishly for ourselves. It’s an appalling scandal that there’s so much hunger in the world. I’ve worked as a nurse in refugee camps and have seen many children with malnutrition and adults dying from starvation.”
CAFOD is among more than 100 organizations pushing for action by the world’s eight richest nations (G8) to make 2013 as the beginning year to end global hunger.
The campaigners point out that the world produces enough food for everyone, but more than two million children die every year because they can’t get enough to eat. This is mainly because the break in the food system.
So, the campaigners want the leaders to undertake the four important things to help change the future of millions of children.
First, provide life-saving aid to save and change the lives of children. Another step is to stop big firms from grabbing lands of millions of poor farmers, leaving families unable to feed their children.
Companies increasingly grow crops for fuel rather than food. “This madness is driving up food and petrol prices. If we end the use of crops for fuel, we can stop millions going hungry,” the campaigners say.
They want big global companies to stop avoiding the tax they owe in countries such as India, where one in three of the world’s malnourished children lives and use the money to feel children.
The campaigners want governments to plug the loopholes that allow these companies to get away with not paying taxes.
They also want strong law that force governments and corporations to be transparent and honest in their actions relating to the food system and ensure that they use resources to help the poor.
“Many governments and big companies keep secrets. They’d rather we didn’t know that the deals they make help keep the world’s poorest citizens in a cycle of hunger. It’s time for them to be held to account,” the campaigners say.
The 38th annual G8 summit is scheduled for June 17-18 at County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.
The main venue is Lough Erne golf resort near Enniskillen, County Fermanagh.
This is the first time Northern Ireland is hosting such an important meeting and several groups have criticized the British premier’s decision to bring the summit to a troubled area.
There is a threat from Irish republican dissident groups such as the Real Irish Republican Army that are waging a low-level paramilitary campaign in Northern Ireland. The summit also coincides with a protest campaign by the Protestant loyalists.