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Millions of people across East Africa are looking down the barrel of the worst famine for 60 years. Thousands of families have picked up their possessions to walk towards what they hope is better pasture land, towards countries that might hold the promise of food.
By the time you read this I imagine I will be in amongst the throng of more than 1,200 people travelling to Westminster to lobby their local MPs on making life better for the poorest in the world.
So nature’s services to Britain are worth billions of pounds. In a new report by 500 ecology, economics and social science experts, the free work done by the natural world has been evaluated, commodified and priced up.
I have witnessed some extraordinary diatribes on the uselessness of aid this week, so thank you Defence Secretary Liam Fox for being the catalyst to a show of sentiment that makes me again wonder how far we’ve moved on since the Enlightenment.
On 9 June 2011 this year I am hoping to sit down for a chat with my MP. Over a cuppa and maybe a custard cream, I am going to go right to the heart of the political decision-makers to get myself heard on some issues that affect people in poor countries.
After more than two years working for an aid agency you would have thought I’d be used to bad news. But, do you know, the emphasis of CAFOD’s work is about the solution – the good stuff that can and will be done to make difficult situations better, to push against injustice, to offer people the tools to get themselves and their families further away from the red lines of poverty and abuse.
The news is full of Libya. And it’s a frightening situation for everyone on the ground. But meanwhile, in Cote d’Ivoire, civil war has broken out.