Tearfund welcomes increase in aid for West Africa

The UK Government has announced it is increasing emergency food aid for West Africa.

The Sahel region has been hit with successive food crises, in 2005, 2010 and most recently last year.

Tearfund said the latest crisis was "severe" and that thousands of families are continuing to suffer.

Laura Taylor, Tearfund Head of Policy said the extra funding would save lives, especially among the most vulnerable people and thousands of children suffering from chronic malnutrition.

"Last year's food crisis was among the harshest in recent years, compounded by rising food prices and the instability and conflict in Mali," she explained.

"It led to a refugee crisis putting further pressure on neighbouring countries where communities were already critically short of food."

She called upon the Department for International Development to increase its investment in long-term resilience among Sahel communities.

"We know, from a Tearfund study in Malawi, that for every $1 invested in projects to reduce risks and build resilience, $24 of benefit was delivered for vulnerable communities," she said.

"This is essential for sustainable, long-term development and it is value for money that can be welcomed."