Campaigners from the Farnham for Fairness group gathered outside of Farnham Maltings today (Saturday) to raise awareness of the hunger crisis facing East Africa.
Climate change, conflict and soaring global food prices have led to a devastating hunger crisis in the region, say the campaigners.
Four failed rainy seasons have resulted in a drought which has killed crops and livestock that families are relying on – and a fifth is expected soon.
Save the Children has estimated that one person every 48 seconds is dying from hunger in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia – yet UK aid to the region is only one-fifth of what Britain provided when the region was struck by famine in 2017.
This is an 80 per cent cut at a time when a record number of people are facing chronic food insecurity.
Campaigners in Farnham unveiled a banner that read ‘East Africa Cannot Wait’ and will be visiting Parliament this Monday, along with dozens of volunteers from across the country, to lobby MPs to take urgent action to help avert the region from famine.
Local campaigner Helen Freeland said: “I’m here because the UK has both the power and the means to address this crisis. Cuts to the UK’s aid budget have had devastating consequences for communities facing severe hunger across East Africa and the international community has yet to take meaningful steps to tackle the climate crisis which has helped drive this hunger.
"The Government must now properly fund the humanitarian response – and my MP, Jeremy Hunt, has a unique responsibility as Chancellor of the Exchequer to ensure the UK is investing in long-term solutions to tackle hunger both here at home and abroad.”
The group also spent the day collecting messages from local constituents that will be sent to MP for South West Surrey and Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt.
One constituent from the area wrote: “It is shameful that children and families should starve. We have a responsibility to look after one another.”