Olympic stars support campaign against hunger
Published: 12th Aug 2012 00:13:05
Olympic stars including Britain's Greg Rutherford and Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba have backed a campaign against child malnutrition in poor countries.
The athletes have written an open letter to David Cameron ahead of a "hunger summit" at Downing Street.
They urged the prime minister to make the issue the top priority for the UK's presidency of the G8 next year.
Mr Cameron said he was determined that the UK would help to tackle child malnutrition around the world.
The letter, organised by aid charity Save the Children, was also signed by British medallists Louis Smith from gymnastics and Gemma Gibbons from judo, among others.
The best legacy the Games can leave is a world where strong, healthy and well-nourished children can achieve their full potential in life”
It said: "With world leaders gathered in London and the eyes of billions focused on Britain, the Olympics is an incredible opportunity to change the destiny of millions of children round the world.
"The eyes of the world are on London 2012. The best legacy the Games can leave is a world where strong, healthy and well-nourished children can achieve their full potential in life."
The summit on Sunday will feature senior politicians from Brazil, Kenya, Bangladesh, India and the Republic of Ireland.
They will be joined by sporting legends, including the Ethiopian runner Haile Gebrselassie and the Brazilian footballer Pele.
The UK has pledged £120m for research into drought-resistant crops and said it would urge multi-national companies to play a role in tackling hunger.
Mr Cameron hopes to get commitments from other countries and private sector summit attendees to help prevent 25 million children under five suffering stunted growth by the time of the 2016 Games in Brazil.
Mr Cameron is set to say at the opening of the summit on Sunday, the final day of the London Olympics: "While people around the planet have been enjoying and competing in these Games, there's another world where children don't have enough to eat, and never get the start in life they deserve.
"It is a tragedy for them, and it's a tragedy for their societies they live in. Children who could grow up to become doctors, farmers, engineers and entrepreneurs or great Olympians are left far behind.
"We've a responsibly to tackle this. But the hard truth is that while we've made huge strides in the last decade on things like education, malnutrition rates have stagnated. I'm determined that Britain helps change this."
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Olympic stars support campaign against hunger. [Online] (Updated 12 Aug 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news.php/1445738-Olympic-stars-support-campaign-against-hunger [Accessed 16th June 2013]
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