Kate Livingstone: Red noses or red faces over hunger?

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Apologies for being a bit more serious this week, but sometimes I just have to show my other side!

How many times have you been about to pop a sweetie/crisp/chip in your mouth when up comes a TV news bulletin about the latest famine? The sight of those poor starving children would make you want to weep and certainly lose your appetite.

It’s an ever reccurring problem that doesn’t look like it is ever going to go away.

Over 30 years ago, I remember buying the Band Aid single Do They Know it’s Christmas in the hope that the money raised would help the starving in Ethopia.

But we are now in 2017 and there’s been several other charity singles and mammoth fundraising efforts to ease the suffering of those affected, the majority left hungry by drought and war, but the problem shows no sign of abating.

Looking at my two grandchildren running about and wolfing down their favourite foods, it’s difficult to imagine how parents who have nothing to give their youngsters to eat must feel.

Tomorrow (Friday) is Red Nose Day when all those behind Comic Relief will be getting involved with raising cash and encouraging others to do the same.

It’s great the money that they raise and I’ll be joining so many others in making my donation – a lot easier to hand over some cash than sit in a bath of beans or take part in a 24-hour danceathon!

Will you be like me and sitting through the TV marathon, Kleenex at the ready?

Comedians and music stars will give us an insight into what they found when they visited some of the world’s poorest nations. They’ll weep over the suffering and we’ll do the same.

Then we’ll hand over our cash.

But will it ever get any better?

When Bob Geldoff and Midge Ure got all those pop stars together back in 1984 to make that record and the following year for the Live Aid concert, we really thought that we were doing something to help and going to see results.

But what we’ve learned since then is that unbelievably, in many of the worst affected countries much of the food donated never even got to the people it was designed to help.

The latest appeal to help the starving in East Africa raised £17 million in only five days – sounds like a lot of money, but sadly that is just over a £1 for ever person in that continent who is hungry.

So much more needs to be done, but we need to ensure it is done properly so none of the money is wasted and it goes to help those most in need.