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Debating the famine in Africa

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16 September 2011
famine in Africa Yesterday I led a debate in the Commons on the current famine crisis in the Horn of Africa and food security in the region. The scale and gravity of the famine in East Africa is huge; I lobbied for this debate because I believe it is vital that MPs have a chance to debate it and put this crisis high on our agenda. I think it’s so important that our Parliament, and the G20, leads on a strategy that prevents catastrophes such as this ever happening again. The full text of the motion debated is as follows:

That this House welcomes the contribution of the British public, via the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), and the British government to the famine relief effort in the Horn of Africa;

Recognises that emergency food relief must always be the last resort and that improving the productivity and resilience of domestic agricultural systems in Africa must be a priority for the UK and international donor community;

Calls upon the government to increase its focus on improving awareness around nutrition and agriculture in the developing world to support farmers and secure greater international food resilience and to champion the welfare of those in the developing world in the discussions on food price volatility at the upcoming G20 Summit in Cannes.

The text of my full speech on the famine can be viewed here

For those who are interested in reading about the full debate, the Guardian’s rolling coverage can be accessed at their Poverty Matters blog here.

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