Call for UK Government to press rich countries for action on food aid at G20

31 October 2011

The move follows the roundtable hosted for the Alliance by the Archbishop of Canterbury last week at which people from Muslim and Christian agencies spelt out the need to address hunger and its causes, especially in the Horn of Africa. The move also builds on the call to action issued by faith leaders in Nairobi in August at a meeting organised by the Alliance’s Africa facilitator.

The letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, MP,  says that the G20 provides an opportunity for leaders of other rich countries to meet the pressing humanitarian needs in the region.

And it highlights the need for longer term action to:

  • Ease the appalling pressures in the refugee camps and surrounding areas.
  • Increase  investment in agriculture in developing countries, especially in research and development.
  • Support women farmers who produce most of the food in the world’s poorest countries.
  • Support people at particular risk of food shortages including pastoralists in the north east of Africa, refugees, and communities in the Pacific islands.
  • Prevent speculation in food commodities which pushes up food prices.

The letter concluded: “The UK Government has been notable in making a very large contribution to meeting the needs of the famine victims in the East and Horn of Africa.  The G20 meeting provides an opportunity to press other rich nations to do the same, and also to ensure that measures are put in place to prevent repeated occurrences of that devastation, and we urge the UK Government to take a lead in delivering this as an outcome of the meeting.”

The letter was signed by Sally Keeble, director of the Anglican Alliance. The Alliance consultation in Nairobi decided that food would be the focus of global advocacy this year.