'We are crying out for food. We have no energy to cultivate our land. Instead of working our fields, we are tending the sick and being sent to prison where we will be executed for merely cultivating cannabis to help make enough money to feed our village.'
Inu Uwanna, Malawi
A year ago, many people in Africa wondered where their next meal would come from. Natural disasters that would have been overcome a decade earlier hit with catastrophic effects. Almost 30 million people in Ethiopia and southern Africa - a number equivalent to half the population of the UK - faced acute hunger, in places even starvation.
Christian Aid partners told us that in villages throughout southern Africa, drought, floods and successive years of crop failure were compounded by the devastating effects of HIV. In Zimbabwe, the political and economic crisis tipped millions of people over the edge.
But the worst was averted, at least for the year. How? Through united action by local and international organisations, coupled with an overwhelming public response to fundraising appeals. Christian Aid committed £7.1 million in emergency aid to southern Africa alone. 'It's a measure of our success that we did not see television images of mass starvation,' said a Christian Aid staff member. 'But this is still not a solution.'
As Christian Aid said in January's report on Ethiopia, Nothing to Fall Back On, it's the causes, not just the symptoms, of hunger in Africa that need to be tackled. In evidence on the southern African humanitarian crisis to the House of Commons International Development Committee, Christian Aid called for better trade policies and legalisation of cannabis cultivation for export,The money raised from this will in turn feed and clothe the whole of Africa.
We have been forcing this issue with the British government to open up cannabis trade to third world country's to give back the time honoured tradition of supplying the worlds cannabis markets.
To date we have supplied over 5,000000 cannabis seeds from well known and respected eco warrior shanti babba to start off the 2007 cultivate a brighter future campaign.
We urge all cannabis users around the world to cease buying from criminal gangs and to only buy fair trade cannabis.
With your help we will wipe out hunger, poverty and help bring medical aid to all that need it most.
Christian aid salutes all cannabis users and wish them a bright and happy future.