15 DECEMBER 1961, Page 15


SIR,—May I seek your readers' support for the special Fund that has been opened to help the people of East Africa, where several simultaneous emergencies are causing human suffering on an unprecedented scale?

Five hundred thousand Africans face starvation in Kenya as a result of drought and floods. A similar number are affected by famine in Tangan- yika. At the same time, thousands of displaced Ruanda tribesmen are pouring into Urundi, the Congo, Tanganyika and Uganda. In each case British-administered territories are involved; the fact that they are near to independence neither makes things easier for them nor lessens our responsi- bility.

All this adds up to a claim on our compassion that cannot be ignored. Official aid has not proved adequate to meet the situation, and the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief feels justified in taking the unusual step of opening a special Fund for East Africa. Stopgap help amounting to over £30,000 has already been sent by Oxfam to the troubled areas, but available funds are now exhausted, so that it is necessary to appeal urgently to all who believe that human beings must not be allowed to starve. Reliable channels for distributing food exist. Money is needed to buy food, to meet distribution costs (in some places American surplus food is at the ports) and to provide seed that will secure the next harvest and thus end the famines. Donations, large or small, may be addressed to me at the address below.

Oxford Committee for Famine Relief,

17 Broad Street, Oxford