15 DECEMBER 1961, Page 15


SIR,—Twice within one year famine has afflicted the peoples of Africa, revealing the thinness of the margin between survival and starvation for those living on the wrong side of the hunger line. Before crisis strikes yet another area, may we appeal to your readers at this season of giving to band together for the adoption of 'direct aid' and 'person to person' pro- jects—the gifts which have life within them for those who have never had it so bad.

Such a project might be the erection of a well—clear water leading to better crops, better health, and so to education and community life—a pattern to be found all over India. It might be the endowment of a scholarship enabling the blind farmer to be trained in agriculture and so take his place on the family farm. It might be the supply of sandals enabling lepers to cross the thorny ground and so receive the sulphone treatment which today can affect a cure. Such gifts are not charity : they are the first step enabling impoverished and undernourished peoples to struggle to full independence, and so to the development of their own culture and pattern of civilisation. If adopted on a sufficiently large scale these gifts must inevitably have their impact on governments, and so set in motion the large-scale planning—roads, railways, dams, engineering works, which can wipe out poverty and bring fullness of life to this planet.


Research and Field Worker War On Want, 9 Madeley Road, W5