The magician David Blaine has been attracting huge crowds in London as he continues his fast, suspended in a Perspex box near Tower Bridge. CAFOD issued this statement today in response to the stunt. During the 28 days since David Blaine started his starvation stunt, a staggering 672,000 people worldwide have died from hunger. One in seven people in the world do not have enough food and go to bed hungry each night. Unlike David Blaine, they cannot choose to leave their situation. Every day 24,000 people die from hunger and related causes according to United Nations figures. The development agency CAFOD believes that these deaths are a scandal. People go hungry not because of a global shortage of food but because there is a global lack of interest in their plight. Thousands of CAFOD supporters will join Blaine in choosing to go hungry this Friday (3 October) in a 24 hour fast to raise money to help those who do not have that choice. Members of the Catholic agency will make the trip down to Tower Bridge, where Blaine is in his Perspex box, to draw attention to the plight of the world's hungry. Media coverage of Blaine's endurance feat has highlighted the devastating physical effects of hunger. Permanent damage to the heart, liver and kidneys, blindness, risk of serious infection and hypothermia are just some of the effects of going without food. These are the same risks as faced by the hundreds of millions of the faceless, anonymous hungry. Long-term hunger also stunts children's growth, hampers their education and reduces both their life expectancy and the choices they can expect from life. "If they survive childhood, hungry children risk becoming hungry adults as they become trapped in the desperate cycle of poverty. CAFOD is working hard to help poor people all over the world break out of that cycle. This Fast Day we are asking our supporters to go to bed hungry for just one day to empathise with those who go hungry every day," said CAFOD's head of Advocacy and Communications Alison Fenney. "CAFOD does not just feed the hungry. It works tirelessly in order that the hungry are able to feed themselves and their children now and in the long term. "Unfair trade practices, debt and preventable diseases all keep people hungry. The world has enough food to feed everyone but little political will from rich countries to ensure that everyone is fed."
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