People may not realize that this is the way the British support money is spent, but its importance and potential is huge. I myself have seen the value of stronger millet varieties in Darfur and rust-resistant wheat in Ethiopia. Although our humanitarian work is essential, research projects such as these can help prevent these crises from occurring in the first place.
Global hunger is also about the quality of food that people have access to. Vitamin A deficiency is a common type of malnutrition in developing countries; it stunts the growth of children, makes them more susceptible to diseases and can lead to blindness.
British support has been used to develop crops with a naturally improved nutritional content, including a kind of sweet potato that provides 100 percent of the daily recommended vitamin A content in a single portion, potentially saving the sight and health of millions of children.
I am proud that I can announce that British aid has pledged an additional £ 5 million to ensure that this life-changing crop can be rolled out across Africa and reach those who need it most.
For example, crops can reduce hunger and suffering in the world, improve food security for future generations and support sustainable livelihoods to help millions of people out of poverty.
This is a win-win situation for Africa and the UK. By investing British aid funds in the leading scientific research sector in the United Kingdom, we help prevent future food crises, prevent avoidable diseases and help end world hunger – a better world for all.
- Harriett Baldwin MP, secretary of state for Africa at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Minister of State for International Development