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Head of Liaison Office in London
Gregory Barrow heads WFP's liaison office in London. Before joining WFP, Greg worked for 14 years as a TV and radio journalist for the BBC.
Child hunger will be at the top of the international political agenda this weekend as government and business leaders join humanitarian leaders in London to discuss new commitments to end child malnutrition and stunting. The “Nutrition for Growth” meeting is taking place as part of the UK government’s presidency of the G8.
LONDON--The UK Hunger Summit will bring together a broad coalition of different groups, all interested in making a firm commitment to address the scourge of child malnutrition and stunting. Politicians from donor governments will rub shoulders with humanitarian leaders, and senior businessmen and businesswomen as they meet in London to discuss bold new initiatives designed to bring about tangible progress in the fight against child hunger.
WFP is among many agencies supporting the sharp focus on providing nutritious support for young children during the 1000 Day window between conception and the age of two years. Ensuring that mothers are well nourished at the time that they conceive, throughout their pregnancy and during the period when they are breastfeeding their new born children is a vital component in this approach.
WFP food assistance is critical for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and helps to ensure that children are given the best possible start in life, building a firm nutritional foundation that will help them to realise their full intellectual and physical potential, and grow up to contribute positively to their country’s economy. It helps to increase the weight of the new born, and to increase survival rates at birth.
The gathering in London will provide an opportunity to explore how to provide long-term support for these kinds of approaches and integrate them with work by other agencies, governments and the private sector. It will also explore how scientific research can contribute to efforts to drive down the levels of global child malnutrition and stunting.
Mobilising for nutrition
The “Nutrition for Growth” event will take place in the morning of Saturday 8 June, and it will be followed in the afternoon by a meeting of the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, which was launched at last year’s G8 summit in the United States. The two events fall under the umbrella of Britain’s G8 presidency, and take place a week ahead of the G8 summit in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland.
A group of British non-governmental organisations have been running a campaign in the build up to the G8 summit called Enough Food for Everyone IF, which focuses on a number of measures that could be taken to protect communities that are vulnerable to hunger, and to bolster efforts to address child malnutrition. The “IF” campaign – as it has come to be known – will hold a major public rally in a London park on the same day as the “Hunger Summit” to help draw attention to the plight of the world’s hungry.