All Articles Tagged "horn of africa"
ABC claims that it is the only American news network to have a reporter in Mogadishu, Somalia—the epicenter of Africa’s deadly and increasingly violent famine. But that may soon change. On Monday, the New York Times ran a heartbreakingly powerful image taken by photographer Tyler Hicks of a starving Somalian child on its cover, above-the-fold.Aid workers have been warning the international community for some time that the ongoing war in the region combined with a worsening drought were destined to cause the massive food crisis now affecting 12 million individuals. It is a pathetic excuse to blame events of recent weeks for letting what some have called a man-made disaster progress to the point of costing almost one million innocent lives. But more important than placing blame is focusing on what we can do now. Organizations like British relief group Oxfam are stressing more than ever the urgent need for the public to donate funds — and for governments to follow through on their pledges. In addition, experts have underscored that organizations like the U.N. must work with local groups on the strategic delivery of support in war torn areas to side-step violent rebels. It is unclear whether those seeking to ameliorate the devastation are being heard. Despite continuing requests for action, governments have been delayed in responding to the suffering bringing millions the brink of extinction. In one startling example, The Washington Post revealed that recently “a donor conference [hosted by the African Union] to raise money for Somalia famine victims has been postponed for at least two weeks.” The reason for the postponement? Poor planning. The region has suffered enough from the poor planning of world leaders, who keep pushing preventing the imminent deaths of millions to the bottom of their to-do lists. Many children in Somalia and Kenya do not have two weeks to live. The time is literally now or never, as the U.N. reports that the under-five death rate in Kenya is sharply rising. In the midst of addressing our debt ceiling debate, President Obama admitted that this tragedy “hasn’t gotten as much attention here in the United States as it deserves.” If the American news media is culpable for failing to provide the necessary awareness, it is more important than ever for concerned citizens to make a grass roots efforts to assist the starving. The New York Times has (finally) created a list of organizations working to provide aid to the Horn of Africa. It is important for us all to use this list to give what we can, in addition to pressuring world leaders to work intelligently to protect aid workers and refugees traveling through dangerous territories. Rape is among the many dangers faced by Somalian women walking to refugee camps through areas studded with militants, and living on the outskirts of camps out of fear for their safety within them. The hell people are going through there is evident. The innocent are oppressed from all sides. Our insensitivity to their pain must end, regardless of the slow movements of those in power. You have the power now to make a difference. Donate money, send emails to elected officials. Through our collective action, we might be able to prevent further calamity.[...] Until now, the media—the Times included—has been distracted by phone hacking and debt ceiling coverage to focus on the crisis there. “The famine in Africa has had to compete with the wrangling over the debt ceiling, the mobile phone hacking scandals in Britain, the killings in Norway and, in Africa itself, the birth of a new country, the Republic of South Sudan,” Stephanie Strom writes.
America has promised “an additional $28 million” on top of “$431 million in food and non-food emergency aid already pledged,” The Week continues. This complements the $230 million promised by the European Union. But while the U.N. is actively working to funnel support to the starving, until warfare in the region abates, delivering enough aid might prove impossible. Despite this barrier, efforts to collect funds are springing up across the globe. Elizabeth Flock of The Washington Post informs us that you can help “by texting ‘FOOD’ to UNICEF (864233) to donate $10.” This will feed a child for ten days. Her illuminating post outlines more background for what some have called a predictable, man-made disaster, and offers more ways to help East Africans now. Writer Maryan Qasim adds on this crisis — that could have been averted:Hundreds of thousands of displaced people have turned refugee camps into teeming cities without medical aid, sanitation, or water — and these refugees are the ones lucky enough to have survived the arduous trek to a camp. The largest of these, the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, has a population approaching 400,000. “It’s almost as if they have been abandoned by humanity,” says Azad Essa, as quoted by NPR.
What is needed right now is for the international community to act immediately to save the millions who are starving. Food, water, medicine and shelter are all urgently needed. Aid needs to be delivered strategically to minimise the distance people are travelling in search of food and water. It is also vital that the UN and international NGOs work closely with the Somali diaspora NGOs, the locals and the transitional government, as it’s Somalis who know the people, the culture, the country and the region.I hope world leaders are listening and finally take swift action. I just sent my text. Have you?
Somalia has experienced drought and famine before, but new reports of the current crisis indicate that the famine in the East African country is one of the most severe in its history.
According to UNICEF, one in six children under five years of age are dying in Somalia.
Due to fighting and drought within Somalia, many have migrated to neighboring countries, joining in overcrowded refugee camps. The lack of sanitation and poor conditions have led to an increase in typhoid and cholera.
The largest refugee camp in Kenya has over 400,000 people and is increasing daily.
The strife of Somalia is not only being felt by its citizens obviously but by the neighboring countries including Ethiopia, Eritrea and Kenya who are under-equipped to deal with the plight. The World Food Program says its working to raise the $477 million in food deliveries needed by the Horn of Africa to care for over 10 million people in dire need. This is the worst regional drought in over 60 years according to the World Health Organization.