HERE in Scotland and across the world, many families are struggling to put enough food on the table.

The war in Ukraine, the economic fall-out of the global pandemic, the rise in energy prices and climate change induced extreme weather have all combined in recent years, leading to skyrocketing prices and reduced production in some areas.

Nowhere is this starker than in East Africa right now, which is facing the worst hunger crisis in living memory.

Approximately 46 million people are now officially in “food crisis” there, millions already facing a food emergency, and many more at risk of unprecedented levels of famine unless action is taken quickly. Oxfam estimates that someone is dying every 28 seconds due to this crisis in East Africa, and the global consensus is that it is undoing development progress made in recent years in health, education and livelihoods.

Last month, the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) launched an appeal for cash to get money urgently to our partners in Ethiopia to help with relief efforts there. We have been overwhelmed by the support of people in Scotland for this, many of whom are also struggling with rising food prices here. The solidarity shown by our supporters has been incredible.

However, appeals like this can only help so much. For long-term solutions to the global food crisis we need world leaders to step up to the plate and deliver action that prevents situations like this happening ever again.

The grim reality is that the world produces more food than it needs to feed everyone. This was true before the war in Ukraine and the pandemic, and is still true today, despite climate impacts massively reducing production in certain areas.

This gets to the heart of the injustice that shapes the world we live in. Whilst some countries produce mountains of food waste and agricultural multinationals post skyrocketing profits, over 820 million people are still going hungry.

In Africa, Latin America and parts of the Middle-East, this number is increasing, even though the UN agreed in 2015 to the Sustainable Development Goals which committed to eradicate hunger by 2030. The world is way off track to this target, and something must change to correct this injustice, and make sure everyone, everywhere, has their right to food.

Therefore, hot on the heels of our fundraising appeal for Ethiopia, we are this week launching a new campaign calling on Rishi Sunak to do all he can to act on the global food crisis.

Firstly, we are calling on the UK Government to urgently pledge more emergency relief to help people in East Africa. This cash can quickly get food aid to those who need it most, to endure the worst months of the crisis, and help them to get back on their feet.

Secondly, Sunak must immediately reverse his devastating cuts to aid, and get back to the UK’s legally binding commitment to spend 0.7% of GDP on aid. In 2017, it is widely agreed that strategic aid and development money helped prevent a famine in East Africa.

Aid is vital to providing long-term solutions, and preventing crises like this from happening again. Our aid commitments are not an act of charity, but a moral obligation and a pragmatic investment in a better world for everyone.

Aid is a commitment to the global common good, and if this UK Government won’t reverse the aid cuts, the next Government absolutely must if they are serious about Britain’s place in the world.

Thirdly, we are calling on the Prime Minister to use his position to champion change to the global food system. Fundamentally, this system is broken, and the planet will never achieve global sustainable development when millions can’t even put enough food on the table for their families.

This is a system set up to feed the greedy not the needy, and we are all diminished when such extreme poverty is allowed to continue in this day and age of plenty.

Please support the SCIAF campaign and add your name to our letter to the Prime Minister at