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Campaigners Urge G8 To Score "Hole In One" On Hunger As Syria Dominates Summit

posted 18 Jun 2013, 09:01 by Mpelembe   [ updated 18 Jun 2013, 09:02 ]

Campaigners dressed as G8 leaders call for action to end world hunger, during a stunt at a golf course just a few miles from where the summit is being held.

 ENNISKILLENNORTHERN IRELANDUNITED KINGDOM (JUNE 18, 2013) (REUTERS) -  Campaigners dressed as G8 leaders posed for photographs at a golf course in Northern Ireland on Tuesday (June 18), in a bid to draw the politicians' attention to world hunger.

Members of the "Not Enough Hunger for Everyone IF" campaign drove around a golf course on golf buggies just a few miles from the G8 summit venue, dressed in full golfing outfits and wearing large heads depicting the leaders of the G8 countries.

They posed for photographs and held a golf flag with the words "End Hunger" written on it, saying the world's powers should be doing more to tackle poverty and taking action against tax avoidance and evasion.

"During this summit, 2.2 billion dollars left the poorest countries through tax evasion. If poor countries were able to collect all the tax that they're owed, then they would be able to end hunger four times over by themselves. So this is a real opportunity to enable the end of hunger by tackling the causes of hunger, fundamental to which is the crisis of tax evasion," said Ben PhillipsOxfam's Campaign Director, which is one of the 200 organisations and charities who make up the "IF" campaign.

"We need much more action. We've seen some good progress but we need to see a lot more if we are really going to tackle the causes of hunger," he said.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, who is hosting the G8 summit in Northern Ireland, had hoped to make tax evasion and aid for developing nations top of the G8 agenda, but Syria has dominated the summit in Northern Ireland.

Russia has become isolated as the other countries line up to pressure PresidentVladimir Putin into toning down his support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

After a frosty meeting between Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama, G8 leaders have been seeking to use the talks to find common ground on a transition of power in Syria despite Russia's stance.

Oxfam said the only way forwards was for the G8 leaders to push harder for peace in Syria, and not simply provide more arms in the country.

"On Syria we need to see real peace. It's good to see that the leaders agree that that needs to happen but they need to follow through on that. That means not sending arms into the conflict, but instead helping to bring about a peace process and helping to provide support for the people in desperate need," said Phillips.

Those backing the rebels - including Britain, FranceTurkey and Arab countries as well as the United States - were driven to intensify support in recent weeks to rescue the rebellion after Assad's forces scored important military gains.

The United Nations says 93,000 people have been killed in Syria and 1.6 million Syrians have fled abroad.