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UK News

Christian Aid warns crisis in the horn of Africa can't be ignored as 80 per cent of Brits unaware of it

by Alex Collett

Christian Aid has warned that the “cost of living crisis is global and demands urgent action” as people in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia face rising hunger and acute water shortages amidst the worst drought in 40 years.

New polling by Savanta, commissioned by Christian Aid, shows while nine in ten (91 per cent) of the British public is aware of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine,  just two in ten (23 per cent) is aware of the worsening humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa.

Patrick Watt, Christian Aid's new chief Executive, said: "Across the Horn of Africa, up to 20 million people are facing hunger. Droughts have become increasingly severe and frequent, and so this is not a surprise. 

"However, the war in Ukraine has turned a bad situation into a dire crisis. With rocketing food and energy costs around the globe, we are seeing people in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia facing a crisis like no other.

"While we cannot thank the public enough for their response to humanitarian needs in Ukraine, the fact that so few people in Britain are aware of the crisis in the Horn of Africa is deeply concerning.

"We must sound the alarm and give hope to people in need in the region. The cost of living crisis is global and demands urgent action from the government and the development sector. 

"The UK Government must give the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa proper attention and take action to prevent a devastating famine. This will be made much easier if the UK restores the international aid budget and works closely with the international community.

"G7 leaders, who pledged $8.5 billion in the 2021 Famine Prevention Compact to end starvation, must act for the long-term and deliver on their promises."

Meanwhile, the survey found seven in ten (71 per cent)  of the British public said the war in Ukraine and the consequences of rising food prices made them worry more about people facing hunger.

A recent report published by Global Network Against Food Crises calculated that the number of people experiencing crisis-levels of hunger or worse across the globe rose by 40 million in 2021 alone.

In the report, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the war in Ukraine is “supercharging a three-dimensional crisis -- food, energy and finance -- with devastating impacts on the world’s most vulnerable people, countries and economies.”

A coalition of 15 international aid agencies, led by Christian Aid, have written to Ministers calling for them to commit new funding to tackle famines around the world in the wake of the war in Ukraine.

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