Harry Potter star calls for help for Africa
Harry Potter star Bonnie Wright has visited Senegal in an attempt to raise awareness of the ongoing food crisis in Africa.
The Oxfam ambassador, who is best known for her role as Ginny Weasley in the schoolboy wizard films, spoke to Sky News about her trip.
Food shortages across the Sahel region of Western Africa have left more than 18 million people on the brink starvation.
Oxfam has reported that around one million children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition and, with the next harvest not due until autumn, the situation in the region is getting worse.
In parts of Chad, Mali and Niger, the malnutrition rates have exceeded 15%, with more than one million children at risk of starvation.
In Senegal, 850,000 people suffering from severe food shortages. A lack of rain last year in southern parts of the country led to a poor harvest with people exhausting their stock of food before the planting season had begun.
Wright visited Kedougou in southern Senegal to meet vulnerable families who are counting on humanitarian assistance to survive.
She said: "When I arrived in Senegal it was hard to see that this was a country where thousands of people are suffering from extreme hunger.
"Where you may expect the landscape to be dry and dusty, in fact everywhere was green and lush.
"I quickly learnt however that this green was hiding the reality, a deep-seated hunger that was so present in the lives of the families I spoke to."
In January, Oxfam and Save The Children said thousands of people in East Africa died needlessly from famine in 2011 because the international community failed to heed early warnings, and worries have arisen that governments are at risk of making the same mistakes again.
The United Nations estimates more than £450m of aid is needed to avert a humanitarian crisis.
Drought, soaring food prices and regional conflict are being blamed for the crisis.
Wright added: "What’s even louder sometimes than money is people’s voices and by pushing your own government to put this into their agenda it is almost more powerful, it’s much more global with the effect it can have."
David Cameron is to hold a hunger summit on August 12, which will coincide with the closing day of the Olympics. The summit has been designed to kick-start a joint effort by world leaders to address the issues of hunger and malnutrition.
It comes after former England footballer David Beckham presented the Prime Minister with an open letter, co-signed by Unicef supporters, to put a "global spotlight on our nation to make children around the world the real winners of these Games."