Severe hunger that threatens lives is spreading across parts of Africa. Chronically and silently, a food crisis has been growing which the UN says now means that 20million people are facing deadly hunger. It hasn't happened in a day, it won't be solved in one, but it desperately needs the world's focus to save those lives.
The complexities of this crisis go beyond the very real human need I saw playing out in Fedeto. Were it faced with this drought alone, the Government of Ethiopia would have a heady, but manageable task. Sadly, all indications of the climate change trajectory suggest that this is not an isolated case of drought, but rather the paradigm for what is yet to come.
The international response to what took place and what continues to take place is both a travesty and injustice. Hundreds of thousands of Innocent men, women and children fled to neighbouring countries such as Chad and Cameroon but more than 600,000 people remain displaced inside the country with many trapped inside enclaves they cannot escape.
Since the conflict escalated in March last year, 30 civilians are made casualties of war every day in Yemen. Houses and hospitals are bombed, whole civilian areas cut-off and under siege, and people are fleeing for their lives on a daily basis. After nine months of fighting, the country is sinking into a disaster of immense proportions and deeply tragic consequences.
Agricultural development through productivity improvements, crop intensification, irrigation, and investment in infrastructure has significantly improved food security and the seasonal dimension of hunger worldwide in recent years. Yet seasonal hunger still persists among the rural poor, and should not be lost within poverty statistics or forgotten when addressing chronic hunger in policymaking.
As the post-election dust settles and MPs start to move into their new offices in Whitehall, I want the Department for International Development (DFID) to prioritise the injustice of hunger and undernutrition; a leading cause of child mortality accounting for one-third of all deaths of children under five.
At emerge poverty free we work through local partners in East Africa to help people lift themselves out of poverty. Sometimes this is through an education project or by provision of clean water, and sometimes it is by establishing a demonstration farm, so that local communities can learn about improved farming techniques and better crops.