MP calls for help to end food crisis

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A CITY MP today called for urgent action to help tackle a worsening food crisis in Africa.

Mark Lazarowicz, Labour MP for Edinburgh North and Leith, has written to UK International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell, calling for increased emergency aid and long-term agricultural support for the Sahel – the countries of West Africa just south of the Sahara.

He said: “Eighteen million people are threatened with extreme hunger as a result of drought. We need action now to avert a repetition of the tragedy that we saw so recently in the Horn of Africa.

“Conflict and instability in the region has made the situation even more acute as aid agencies have difficulty getting access in some areas. Agencies have warned of a serious shortfall in the funding needed to deal with the emergency.”

The region has been hit by drought and conflict, leading to flows of refugees from Libya southwards and then from Mali to neighbouring countries after rebel forces seized control in parts of the north.

Mr Lazarowicz said: “We need a new international commitment to invest in agricultural development.”