I am reminded daily just how small our world can be. Most recently, an earthquake on the other side of the globe could have contaminated the fish I eat for dinner or the California coastal water I swim in. Japanese trading delays affected the lines of iPad impatience outside our local Apple stores—providing a front row seat to how connected our modern world is and how faraway disasters can have ripple effects that touch us in unexpected ways.
Seemingly back to back, a stream of disasters have headlined the US media: Haiti, The Gulf Coast oil spill, earthquake and nuclear contamination in Japan, tornadoes in the South – and now the horn of Africa drought. The UN has declared famine in several regions of war-torn Somalia during the continent’s worst drought in more than 60 years. This is a dire prognosis, given the limited aid available/allowed by the current al-Shabab regime and the mass migration of people fleeing to neighboring countries for refuge that may not exist.
Not as many people have responded to the Somali famine as previous disasters or requests for aid. Perhaps we feel helpless, that our dollars don’t make a difference, or that we’ve donated to other causes and are already stretched thin. In the meantime, 3.2 million people, nearly half the population of Somalia, need immediate life saving assistance. To date, more than 29,000 children have already died and another 640,000 are malnourished.
While living abroad, I participated in the 40-Hour Famine with World Vision Australia, where I raised money by not eating for 40 hours. It was a real life feeling of what it would be like to live and function without sustenance – luckily one that ended after a mere 2 days.
Millions of people both domestically and abroad are not so fortunate.
I am immediately struck by the current crisis in Africa and consider it to be a GLOBAL concern and priority that children are dying of starvation in a world where there is and should be enough food for everyone. We all need to be involved, and take it personally.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Support charities providing assistance on the ground:
- Action Against Hunger
- HelpAge USA
- International Medical Corps
- International Rescue Committee
- Mercy Corps
- Operation USA
- Oxfam America
- Save the Children
- US Fund for UNICEF
>> Start a charity registry and do your own famine fundraising!
— Michelle Koffler, Marketing Coordinator