The Daily Telegraph

East Africa emergency

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SIR – Why must 37 million people on the brink of famine wait while the internatio­nal community procrastin­ates over the fastdeteri­orating humanitari­an emergency in East Africa?

We are calling on the new Prime Minister urgently to step up the British response. During the worst drought in 40 years, people are taking desperate measures to survive failed harvests, livestock deaths, water shortages and extreme hunger. Every day more lives are lost. Yet the British Government has been missing in action.

The humanitari­an response in Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan must address the symptoms and the underlying causes. The climate crisis has been a major factor in five successive failed rainy seasons. Rocketing food prices are in part due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and to Africa’s reliance on imports. The food system is broken, and we must act now to avoid further deaths.

As faith-based internatio­nal developmen­t organisati­ons, we are moved to act out of compassion and solidarity. Through the generosity of many thousands of supporters, we are doing all we can to help communitie­s in the region. However, local institutio­ns, from faith-based groups to voluntary networks, are overwhelme­d and under-resourced. It is time to ratchet up humanitari­an assistance and restore the 0.7 per cent aid budget, ensuring that funds reach local NGOS working with vulnerable communitie­s.

The Prime Minister has a responsibi­lity to work with Britain’s internatio­nal partners to break the cycle of catastroph­ic food insecurity in East Africa.

Christine Allen

Director, Cafod

Paul Anticoni

Chief Executive, World Jewish Relief

Patrick Watt

Chief Executive Officer, Christian Aid

Mark Sheard

Chief Executive Officer, World Vision UK

Tufail Hussain

UK Director, Islamic Relief Worldwide

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