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How UK and Irish lead way in West Africa

The announcement by the UK and Irish governments of £5.4m and €4.25m (£3.4m) respectively in increased emergency funding for the devastating crisis gripping West Africa is most welcome.

Some 18m people across the region are struggling to cope with a lack of food, partly because of drought and high food prices.

Crops have failed on a mass scale and livestock is dying, often taking away people's only means of earning a living.

Generous public donations mean Oxfam is working to reach 1.8m people in the region.

The UK and Irish governments' responses show clear leadership and set an example that other international leaders should follow..

World leaders must address the global food situation to ensure that these continual crises become a thing of the past.

Investing in building the resilience of the region's small-scale farmers is a necessary first step.

JIM CLARKEN

Chief executive, Oxfam Ireland

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