POLITICS

CIDA delegation attending post-Olympic Global Hunger Event in London

08/12/2012 05:00 EDT | Updated 10/11/2012 05:12 EDT
OTTAWA - If the race to end hunger was an Olympic event, it would be a marathon, not a sprint.

British Prime Minister David Cameron is hoping global leaders will take up the torch, and work to improve nutrition among the world's poorest children by the next Summer Games in 2016.

Cameron and Brazil's vice president, Michel Temer, will host a Global Hunger Event today in London, in the hopes of finding new ways to tackle malnutrition.

A delegation from the Canadian International Development Agency, CIDA, is attending the event.

Almost one in three of the world’s poorest children cannot reach their full potential due to malnutrition. And nearly three million children die every year from a lack of proper food.

Organizers of the Global Hunger Event, held on the final day of the 2012 London Olympics, hope to inspire a generation of young people to take up the cause of fighting hunger, just as the Olympics inspires young athletes to excel in sports.

But world leaders attending the event must do more than talk, says aid agency World Vision.

And Canada can lead the way, says the agency's Elly Vandenberg.

"Canada is a global leader for child and maternal health and nutrition," says Vandenberg, World Vision Canada’s senior director of policy and advocacy.

"In the race to end world hunger, this summit is a chance to keep Canada’s momentum going. Our country must continue stepping up as the champion for nutrition that millions of malnourished women and children need.”

The World Health Assembly is hoping to reduce the number of stunted children by 70 million by 2025.