Page last updated at 00:02 GMT, Thursday, 16 October 2008 01:02 UK

Scots singer in Oxfam cash plea

Sandi Thom in Malawi
Sandi Thom visited communities in Malawi affected by rising food costs

Scottish singer Sandi Thom has returned from a visit to east Africa to launch Oxfam's 15m World Food Crisis Appeal.

The charity said it needed the cash to pay for its ongoing international development and humanitarian work on food and agriculture.

It will also campaign for changes to trade and agricultural policies which impact on "poor farmers".

The appeal has been launched to coincide with the United Nations World Food Day.

Ms Thom, who is from Banffshire, spent a week in Malawi with Oxfam meeting families and communities affected by rising food prices.

"My visit to Malawi opened my eyes to the extent of poverty and the harsh reality of how some people live and how rising food prices are affecting them," she said.

Many of the people we met in Malawi were already down to one meal a day, and its expected things will get worse in the months ahead, with food prices possibly rising further still
Malcolm Fleming
Oxfam Scotland
"You have to ask yourself what you would do if you were in the situation many Malawians face.

"If you had a family to feed but the prices were doubling or tripling. The people I met in Malawi, and many millions like them around the world, need people here to show generosity when they need it most."

Oxfam Scotland's Malcolm Fleming, who accompanied Ms Thom, said: "The world food crisis is hitting the poorest hardest.

"Women and children are especially vulnerable. Many of the people we met in Malawi were already down to one meal a day, and it is expected things will get worse in the months ahead, with food prices possibly rising further still.

"Whatever the reasons behind the crisis, it's clear that financial donations made now will help save lives in Malawi and elsewhere around the world in the next few crucial months."


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