10,000 Concern Worldwide supporters tell UN: listen to women in their fight against hunger

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“Listen to the voices of poor women farmers and make them central to the fight against hunger and malnutrition,” says Concern CEO Tom Arnold.

Listen to the voices of poor women farmers and make them central to the fight against hunger and malnutrition.

Tom Arnold, CEO of Concern Worldwide will present over 10,000 signatures to UN leaders at next week’s MDG summit in New York, urging them to act now and support poor women in their efforts to defeat hunger.

He will hand the signatures, gathered as part of Concern’s Women Can’t Wait campaign, to David Nabarro, UN Special Representative on Food Security and Nutrition at the UN Summit in New York on Tuesday 21 September 2010.

The Unheard Voices: Women Can’t Wait campaign was launched in March 2010 to highlight the fact that for the first time in history, over a billion people are going to bed hungry every night, and the majority of these are women. This is despite the fact that women produce up to 80% of food in developing countries.

The campaign argues that up till now, policies designed to address hunger have failed to acknowledge the crucial role women farmers play, meaning they are often not able to grow enough food. And unless world leaders are serious about tackling this issue, the target they set to halve hunger by 2015 will simply not be reached.

Concern is calling on the UN and world leaders to listen to poor women, include them in decision making processes and provide them with the support and funds to ensure they and their families don’t go hungry.

Tom Arnold, CEO of Concern Worldwide, said:
“It is shocking that despite the promises made by world leaders in 2000, over a billion people are still hungry – and the majority of these are women. Today hunger remains the single biggest risk to health worldwide and poses a greater threat than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

“Women farmers are responsible for growing, buying, selling and cooking the majority of food in poor countries, yet they are often excluded from policy making or ignored by NGOs.

“If world leaders are serious about saving lives, they must act now. When they discuss how and where to allocate crucial funds, and where reform is needed, they must include the views of the poorest women farmers who face a daily battle to produce enough food to feed themselves and their families. Otherwise the numbers of people going to bed hungry will continue to rise.

“People across the world have signed this pledge to send a message to their leaders: listen to the voices of poor women farmers and make them central to the fight against hunger and malnutrition. If you don’t, then the target set to halve poverty and hunger by 2015 will not be reached.”

For further information, case studies and images, contact Siobhan Sheerin, Concern Worldwide (UK) on 020 7801 1856 or Siobhan.sheerin(at)concern(dot)net.

Notes to editors

  •     Some Unheard Voices can be heard at http://www.concern.net/en/unheard-voices/unheard-voices-case-studies.
  •     Concern Worldwide is an international humanitarian organisation dedicated to tackling poverty and suffering in the world’s poorest countries. We work in partnership with the very poorest people in these countries, directly enabling them to improve their lives as well as using our knowledge and experience to influence decisions made at a local, national and international level that can significantly reduce extreme poverty.

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Siobhan Sheerin
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