Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Actor calls for end to world hunger

Jim Broadbent recited a poem to the crowd at the Big IF concert in Belfast

Oscar winning actor Jim Broadbent has called on the G8 leaders to end world hunger by tackling tax avoidance.

The star of Iris also appealed for the world's richest countries to examine how they distribute aid.

Broadbent joined 2,000 anti poverty campaigners in the pouring rain for a concert in Belfast's Botanic Gardens, where he recited a poem to the crowd.

He said: "With so many people turning out, even on a day like today, it shows there is an enormous will to get people to listen to the issues and to correct what is clearly not right. Many people are not happy with the situation.

"There is enough food to go around but it is not getting to one in eight people. It is very, very serious. I would like them (world leaders) to redress some of the tax issues where the biggest companies are not paying the tax that they should be and how the aid is distributed."

The Big IF event was organised by a range of charities including Oxfam, Trocaire and the Enough Food For Everyone If campaign.

Tanzanian teenager Frank Kadeta, 16 - who almost starved to death after drought hit his home village when he was a child, spoke out. "Sometimes I was so weak it was painful because of hunger. It affected my life," said the Save the Children ambassador. "I want to tell world leaders to stop the hunger because many children and people die every day."

The Ulster Orchestra opened the gig - which included performances from Britain's Got Talent finalist Jordan O'Keefe, actor Richard Dormer, Duke Special and General Fiasco. But a silence fell over the crowd as Broadbent took to the stage and performed Seamus Heaney's poem on Ireland's Great Famine, For the Commander of The Eliza.

Marian Martin, 64, and her 25-year-old daughter Fiona travelled from Glasgow just for the concert, spending just fours in the city before making the journey home by ferry. Mrs Martin, a social justice campaigner, said she feels so strongly about world hunger she had to make the event.

"We feel we have to put pressure on governments to act, especially in regard to the tax dodging going on," she said. "We have to have clearer tax legislation and we have got to stop land grabbing."

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