John Bingham, Jan. 23- Targets to boost biofuel production have encouraged multinational companies to buy up land in the developing world, forcing some of the world’s poorest people further into poverty, it is claimed.
The warning comes in a report by a new coalition of charities and faith groups backed by figures such as Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder, and the South African Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu.
The “If” campaign, which is being launched today, aims to put pressure on David Cameron to use Britain’s presidency of the G8 to tackle the causes of hunger in the developing world.
The coalition, whose leaders include the film director Richard Curtis, has brought together charities such as Oxfam, Save the Children and the Catholic development agency Cafod with the Church of England, as well as Muslim and Jewish groups.
It points out that there would be enough food to feed everyone in the world – if certain barriers are overcome.
The group is calling for more aid to be targeted towards those most at risk of huger and curbs on “tax dodging” by companies operating in the developing world.
Other targets include the rise of biofuels, which it argues lies behind a series of legal “land grabs” which have swept poor farmers, many of them women, aside.