Big IF London Rally Against Global Hunger

The Big IF London took place on Saturday in Hyde Park as 45,000 people joined the rally to support the campaign to have the G8 leaders tackle the causes of hunger and end global food poverty for good.

Oscar winning Director Danny Boyle  and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates where among those who spoke to the vast  crowds of volunteers, activists and representatives of a coalition of over 200 UK organisations. The mass demonstration of public support, organised by Enough Food For Everyone IF, marks the start of a 10 day countdown to the G8 summit in Northern Ireland, 17-18th June.

The former Archbishop of Canterbury and Chair of Christian Aid Rowan Williams also addressed the 45,000 strong crowd, as did a number of activists from developing countries and high profile supporters including actor David Harewood and broadcaster Natasha Kaplinksy.

The event was hosted by Myleene Klass and Gethin Jones and specially recorded messages from David Beckham, John Bishop, Miranda Hart and Eddie Izzard were also broadcast to the crowd. There were also musical performances from Grammy Award winning singer Angelique Kidjo and Lucy Rose.

Celebrities and the public alike helped to create a huge visual petition at the event to demonstrate the scale of public support for the IF campaign. The petition was made up of 250,000 spinning flowers, their petals representing the millions of children who die because of malnutrition each year – lives that can be saved if world leaders take action at the G8.

Danny Boyle addressed the crowd by saying:

“Anyone who says that we can’t crack the hunger crisis is wrong. This is my dream – it’s a passionate dream – that in Olympics to come there will be no-one dying of hunger in any of the countries whose wonderful flags wave in the wind. And it is a fight that will be won. We expect our government and other world leaders to fight with all the energy and cunning and determination of Chris Hoy and Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis and Bradley Wiggins – to fight and fight and fight to end Hunger until they win.”

Microsoft founder Bill Gates also gave an impassioned plea, adding:

“The great travesty of our time is that one in eight people do not have enough to eat. If babies do not get the right nutrition in the first 1000 days of their life, they will never be able to achieve their full potential.Providing developing countries with the means to feed their people is a vital part of lifting these communities out of the cycle of hunger and poverty. This is particularly critical as we await the G8 later this month. ”

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