In the run up to the 2024 General Election we urge every MP and all parties to pledge their support for the Mothers Manifesto and to stand in unity and solidarity with mothers who are unable to feed their children.
No one wants a child to go without food, to feel the pangs of hunger even for a day, let alone starve to death. Mothers will go to extraordinary lengths to protect their children. In the UK 1 in 4 households with children are facing food insecurity, skipping meals and going hungry in order to feed their children. We have some of the most severe food insecurity in all of Europe. This is not something to be proud of.
The situation is worse globally, with severe hunger and malnutrition putting 14 million children at risk of death, and being the cause of 45% of child deaths, with one child dying approximately every 11 seconds. During the 6 days we were on Hunger Strike, it is estimated that a devastating 47,127 children died unnecessarily. Women and children have been shown to be the most impacted, and the UN has warned that progress on nutrition has gone into reverse.
Far too little has been done to address this situation.
Meanwhile, the UK government has given oil and gas companies like Equinor, Shell and BP around £14 billion in subsidies since it signed the Paris Agreement in December 2015, companies whose products directly contribute to the worsening climate crisis. Fossil fuel companies are also given tax relief of 91.4% on what they invest into new oil and gas exploration and development.
These companies have all posted record profits and paid out billions to their shareholders. High fossil energy prices are accelerating this transfer of wealth from taxpayers to corporate shareholders. At the same time, these high prices are making food insecurity worse by forcing mothers to choose between heating and eating.
Without rapid and positive action to address the climate crisis, food insecurity will escalate with devastating consequences, including here in the UK. Decisive action can change this.
Our world can be one in which all children thrive because they have enough healthy food to eat. Our food system can be good for our environment, socially just and rooted in the principle of care for each other.
Mothers Manifesto calls for immediate action that upholds the human right to available, accessible and adequate food, as defined by the United Nations.
As we enter the climate crisis, we call for those in power to meet their legal responsibility by providing the required resources and environmental protection that ensure the human right to adequate food.
Mothers Manifesto demands accountability for public and private bodies to safeguard every human - with a focus on women and children as the disproportionate victims of current and ongoing food poverty.
We are calling on our political representatives to:
MAKE SURE ALL CHILDREN IN THE UK HAVE ENOUGH TO EAT:
Provide nutritious free school meals for all state schools.
Introduce a basic rate of Universal Credit that guarantees life’s essentials.
Implement a Living Wage as minimum for workers.
KEEP OUR PROMISES ON AID AND CLIMATE
Reverse cuts to the aid budget.
Cancel debt owed by the world’s financially poorest nations in order to finance climate adaptation: make reparations as one of the countries currently and historically most responsible for climate breakdown.
Take rapid and ambitious action on the climate and ecological crisis, limiting catastrophic risk and the collapse of our food systems. This must include no new fossil fuel exploration or developments.
TAX OIL AND GAS COMPANIES' PROFITS
Fund increased aid and investment in a green energy transition via a 90%, loophole-free windfall tax on oil and gas companies’ record profits.
Our six day Hunger Strike was to demonstrate our outrage, and highlighted the need for action. We are standing in solidarity with all the mothers and their children who are being failed by the current system. We know that we can make a difference, and with unwavering determination we can create a world in which no child goes hungry.
We are calling on MPs to pledge their support this Manifesto,
and to take action on hunger and the right to food in the UK and globally.