The negative portrayal of Africa in the eyes of the British public is undermining efforts to bring an end to hunger on the continent, Oxfam has said.
The aid agency said that three-fifths of people questioned said they have become desensitised to images depicting issues such as hunger, drought and disease.
Although nearly three- quarters (74 per cent) of respondents thought it was ultimately possible to bring an end to hunger across the continent, only one in five believed they could play an active role in this.
Over-exposure to negative media and advertising portrayals of Africa and developing countries in other parts of the world was described as “depressing, manipulative and hopeless” by respondents.
And almost half (43 per cent) said it made them feel that conditions for people living in the developing world would never improve.
In response, Oxfam is launching a new campaign to try to refocus public support for the cause.
Through the Food for All campaign, the charity aims to show the continent’s potential instead of just its problems by striking a more optimistic tone.
Oxfam chief executive, Barbara Stocking, said: “The relentless focus on ongoing problems at the expense of a more nuanced portrait of the continent, is obscuring the progress that is being made towards a more secure and prosperous future.”