12
   

The African Famine is back Worse than Ever..Do you Care?

 
 
Setanta
 
  4  
Reply Sun 24 Jul, 2011 09:21 am
Just for the record, and in response to the snotty attitude of Miss (allegedly Miss) Holier thanThou, my remarks do not say that nothing should be done. But i am saying that it's not as simple as just throwing money at a problem, and that many "solutions" in fact create bigger problems. The Oxfam agenda does not addrress a single issue of the problems of the distribution system or the failure of agriculture in African nations.
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Jul, 2011 11:04 am
@OmSigDAVID,
Quote:
Theoretically, there is A CHANCE that it will; it might.
In my opinion, u r perfectly within your rights
to place your faith wherever u choose.

Thank you David, I believe that you believe that and I believe that too. That's why, despite our coming from opposite ends of the political spectrum, we can often find a common meeting ground.

I don't have any answers - I can only do what I can do and I do what I see fit to do. If I were an expert with all the answers - I'd be working for Oxfam, and/or whipping those governments into shape.
Since I'm not an expert with all the answers - I contribute what I can- and **** anyone who wants to tell me they know more about what I should do than I do.
Because in the meantime - people are starving.

Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Sun 24 Jul, 2011 11:31 am
**** any twit who tries to suggest that i don't care because i criticize how the aid is delivered, and how it contributes to the problem; and **** anyone who makes assumptions about what i have said, and says i should be fucked because that idiot makes those unwarranted assumptions.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Jul, 2011 11:59 am
@aidan,
David wrote:
Theoretically, there is A CHANCE that it will; it might.
In my opinion, u r perfectly within your rights
to place your faith wherever u choose.
aidan wrote:
Thank you David, I believe that you believe that and I believe that too. That's why, despite our coming from opposite ends of the political spectrum, we can often find a common meeting ground.
OK



aidan wrote:
I don't have any answers - I can only do what I can do and I do what I see fit to do. If I were an expert with all the answers - I'd be working for Oxfam, and/or whipping those governments into shape.
Uh, ez on the whips, Rebecca;
thay have a lot of AK 47s in Africa.
Thay retail for $12; fast n ez to make.




aidan wrote:
Since I'm not an expert with all the answers - I contribute what I can- and **** anyone who wants to tell me they know more about what I should do than I do.
Because in the meantime - people are starving.
Well, as we said, there is a theoretical possibility that it gets thru to the Africans.
If not, then I guess the Oxfam people will enjoy the 18 pounds of silver a month.

0 Replies
 
Izzie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Jul, 2011 01:54 pm
Green Witch wrote:

I think many people care, but feel overwhelmed and powerless to help. As others have pointed out the problem goes far beyond a raising some money with a concert. There was an article on the BBC about mothers having to abandon weak children in order to survive themselves and save their other children. How could someone know that and not feel grief? These problems have roots in bad politics, corruption, ignorance, greed, religious fanaticism, and climate change. It's natures brutal way of dealing with these things when humans refuse to address these problems. It's only to get worse and could be coming to a country near you.


Setanta wrote:

<snip>
i am saying that it's not as simple as just throwing money at a problem, and that many "solutions" in fact create bigger problems.
<snip>


So true.

Have been trying to lock down some of my thoughts on this and listened to an interesting docu on BBCNews today, called our world which concurs with this

Setanta wrote:

Even in nations which have relatively stable governments, food aid can wreck their agricultural economies.
<etc>


http://www.bbc.co.uk/i/b012s2cg/

It’s only 30 mins long – but if anyone would like to listen to it, it may be possible to hear/see it from the link above

It is evident that, as we did in the ‘80’s, righteous indignation cried out with events such as LiveAid etc – and that sometimes, we can make a difference in a small way for some – however, did it fix all the problems – no – and these events will not address all the problems as outlined in the news report, nor does it stop the addiction for aid or self sufficiency that these countries need to survive. Our aid can also then create further problems in the world and for these countries – as often does our ‘aid’ when political wars occur.

With limited understanding of all the issues, I do ‘get’ the “for” and “against”… In 1963 the WFP began their assistance in Africa and at that point, who knew of what would happen in the future.

http://www.wfp.org/faqs

As reported, the assistance over the years formed that addiction for ‘aid’ and meanwhile all the political processes/corruption etc kicked in too.

I find it difficult to listen to people, highly intelligent people who have a direct knowledge and understanding, far more than I could ever know about these things, talk about seeing the “Uganda Aid Experiment” through. It must be hard to make these decisions as they have to do – but then all these kinds of decisions are hard.

An experiment, as it was named, whilst watching the children chew on old dried goat’s skin and determining whether to let a child have food by measuring their arm (in simplistic terms)… well, it seems incredulous to me – but then I wouldn’t know how we could resolve these crises as they happen around the world.

Trafficking of children was outlined too.

Quote:

Hunger and child begging test Uganda aid experiment
17 July 11 16:29

By Humphrey Hawksley
BBC News
As appeals continue for the drought in East Africa, aid agencies' eyes are on a region in nearby Uganda which is the focus of a global experiment in aid.

In the past year, the UN's World Food Programme has begun a project to try to end aid dependency in Karamoja and make the 1.2 million people there self-sufficient.

Food handouts are being strictly regulated, but many villagers are complaining of food shortages and charities report an increase in street begging by children.

"It's getting worse because now there's no food for the children, they all come back to Kampala to beg to earn a living," says Maureen Mwagale, who runs a small charity called Kaana.
"These children are both physically and mentally abused."
The children, as young as two, sit on the pavement of a busy shopping area, hands outstretched for money. We found two - Longorio, aged four, and his three-year-old cousin Lochien, being looked after by his 13-year-old sister, Nachiru Ellen.
She said she used to go to school but because of the lack of food in Karamoja her parents sent her to Kampala. Between the three of them, they had earned about $1 (£0.62) that day.

World's poorest

The children send much of the money to their village, Lorikitai.

Once there, we were told that up to 60 children from the community had been sent to Kampala to beg. Lochien's aunt, Napfu, said her own little boy was there, too, and her little daughter would go soon.

"There's nothing we can give them here," said Nachiru Ellen's father, Peter Lochoro.

The landscape of Karamoja is cruel and arid, the people among the poorest in the world.

The UN's experiment includes planting thousands of acres of robust crop like sorghum and cassava that can withstand drought, starting new businesses and bringing infrastructure and some economy to the area.

But even now, serious glitches have arisen. The UN has cut school meals because of what it describes as an administrative problem with the supply chain.

"We used to have breakfast, lunch and supper," says Diko Ben, the headmaster of Loodoi Primary School. "Now there's just a midday snack. Many here are now malnourished and if it stays like this, I don't think you will see a future."

Mr Ben says 200 children, a quarter of the whole school, have left because of the lack of food, adding that every child in school means one less under threat of being sent to beg in the cities.

The UN says meals will be restored by September and that, with the Ugandan government, it is drawing up a plan to end the crisis over Karamoja children. But it is not in place yet.

One church charity rescues children - they are now at a boarding school in the town of Iriri.

"It was horrible," says Amei Mandy, now 10, who begged for five years. "At night people would come and beat me and take my money."

His friend Kodet Michael, also 10, says: "My mother said we had to go to Kampala because there was too much hunger. But when we got there she disappeared and left me."

Only about 20 children are at the school, while the UN estimates that more than 12,000 mothers and children from Karamoja are begging on Ugandan city streets.

Despite setbacks, the UN insists its experiment is on course. A year ago, $215m was spent on feeding people in Karamoja. This year that figure has been cut to $90m, the bulk of which goes not on food handouts but long-term development.

If this experiment does work, it will be rolled out in other parts of the world.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/mobile/world-africa-14178497

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14178497
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14143562


These aid situations are applicable not only in drought, famine… but the natural disasters too, as has been discussed in previous threads about Haiti etc.


Not so long ago – in the UK, there was an over-dramatic social experiment that took place for TV called The Street That Cut Everything

http://www.taxpayersalliance.com/bettergovernment/2011/05/bbc-street-cut-taught.html

where in one street, the residents were given back their council tax money, put in all in a pot, and then decided amongst themselves how they would spend the money. It was interesting to watch how people could so quickly turn on one another and what one person considered important, was of no importance to another, who helped who, who judged who, who didn’t give a rat’s ass about their neighbour down the road – down to life and death matters. As a quick example – should they spend money on lighting at night in order to try and prevent graffiti/crime and help with security issues, or should they give the mother on benefits enough money to provide her daughter with meals for school?

Of course, this only went on for a few weeks and then “life as they knew it” would return to normal. However, during this time, emotional damage was done to a couple of the folk who realised that ‘their worth’ was made less than important than others and their neighbours most certainly weren’t whom they thought they were.


Anyhoo – what I am attempting to get across is that I can see and agree that throwing money at a problem does not fix it, there are so many other factors to incorporate and by perhaps solving/assisting one problem thus creates a whole new set of problems.

I don’t know whether it’s simply the word “experiment” that messes with me – as I say, I can try and further my understanding of these issues and why this is the way of the world, but I do find it difficult to come to terms with in my own head at times.

Again, the means to an end is often necessary.

I do, or rather have to believe tho, that aid can make a difference when I read reports such as this re Somalia.

Quote:
The UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has called on donor countries to come up with $1.6bn for the famine in Somalia.

The UN food agency will host emergency talks in Rome on Monday as aid agencies struggle to help nearly 12 million people on the brink of starvation.

Meanwhile, the BBC has learnt that the Red Cross has managed to deliver food to 24,000 people to a town, north-west of the capital Mogadishu.

It is one of the worst affected areas by drought in the country and is under the control of the Islamist group, al-Shabab.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14268779




hawkeye10
 
  2  
Reply Sun 24 Jul, 2011 01:59 pm
@Izzie,
Quote:
Even in nations which have relatively stable governments, food aid can wreck their agricultural economies.
Set is often full of it but he is correct here. While the press has not picked up much on this there is a lot of pondering this point re Haiti where the aid actively destroyed the food and medical economies that remained after the earthquake, and the mass importation of labor destroyed the job market. The aid effort in many ways makes the problem worse rather than better, creating a culture of dependency as it removes incentive for work.
0 Replies
 
BDV
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Jul, 2011 06:47 pm
.....We should care in the west but we don't, why should we? it doesn't effect us in anyway! oil doesn't go up in price nor our food bills, most of the governments have plenty of money there but stink of corruption/civil war or some other idiotic corrupt unworkable strategy they have in place and then expect the west (who have large portions of their own populations living in poverty) to bail out their mismanagement of their own economies.

To add to the miseries the aid organisations use most of the money they receive to pay their overheads and wages. Funny most major charities pay their CEO’s between 300 and 600k a year!!!!!! (with exception to the salvation army who’s big boss gets less than 20k! why can’t they all be like that?) so we give to Africa so we can pay executive bills, overheads and greed of the west with very little reaching what we intended our money to get too.

So soon we will expect and give to help the less fortunate than us, I just hope all my money gets there and lives are saved rather than some CEO getting richer.
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  0  
Reply Sun 24 Jul, 2011 11:47 pm
Quote:
Well, as we said, there is a theoretical possibility that it gets thru to the Africans.
If not, then I guess the Oxfam people will enjoy the 18 pounds of silver a month

Yeah - although I think my belief is based on slightly more than theory. I'd tend to go more with a registered charity made up of people who have made this their life's work for sixty or seventy years than with the opinion, no matter how considered, of armchair theorists.
I mean, Good God man - I'm sitting here wondering why, if these people know so much about how it shouldn't be done and should be done - aren't they out there doing it? Or at least writing letters to tell the people who are doing it how to do it. Why are they hanging out here?
You know - as we speak - people are STARVING!!

I'd rather give my eighteen pounds a month to Oxfam than stuff more food down my own gullet or buy my little doggy a treat.
But that's just me.
Hawkeye asked and I answered. Why the hell do I have to justify what I do?
Anyone else doesn't believe in it and doesn't want to do it - it's none of my business.
But I can and will do whatever I feel is the right and necessary thing to do.
And no one here has convinced me it isn't.
hawkeye10
 
  2  
Reply Mon 25 Jul, 2011 12:15 am
@aidan,
Quote:
Hawkeye asked
Thank you for the answer but I was not really asking...the "Q" was a rhetorical device I used as I was pointing out that compassion fatigue has set in as our compassion and continually handing over our dough to feed the Africans has not solved the problem of Africans starving. We have big problems of our own, and other than a source for raw materials Africa is a wasteland. Where we once when confronted with images of starving dark skinned Africans responded with"OMG. I have to do something!" I think the current majority reaction is "Not again!, well, **** them, I have my own problems".
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jul, 2011 01:28 am
Quote:
The United Nations has called for emergency talks in Rome on Monday to address the deteriorating humanitarian situation in drought-stricken Somalia, where aid workers are struggling to deliver food supplies to the famine-hit southern region controlled by Islamic militants.

UN officials estimate that tens of thousands have already died in a famine triggered by the worst drought in 60 years and that around 12 million people could face starvation in the broader region of east Africa. The famine has also hit parts of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda.

"This is an emergency ministerial meeting that is prompted by the escalation of the famine," said Cristina Amaral, head of emergency operations in Africa for the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

"We're afraid that things will get worse in the coming months if nothing is done now," she said.

Delivery difficult

The Islamist militant group al-Shabab, which controls the southern swath of Somalia hardest hit by the famine, had banned foreign aid groups from delivering supplies to the region. Although the militant group reportedly lifted the ban on Friday, an al-Shabab spokesman said it was still in effect.


"In Somalia, there are places where local communities are welcoming humanitarian aid," European Union aid commissioner Kristalina Georgieva said.

"Even in areas of the Shabab at the end of the day it is the local people who can say enough is enough," she added.

The International Red Cross reported on Sunday that it had managed to distribute 400 tons of supplies to around 4,000 families or 24,000 people. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for the international community to donate $1.6 billion (1.1 billion euros) to stem the famine.

"So far, international donors have given half that amount," Ban wrote in an editorial published in the Los Angeles Times.

"To turn the tide, to offer hope in the name of our common humanity, we must mobilize worldwide."

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15263383,00.html
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jul, 2011 01:54 am
@aidan,
You're quite right. What you give might or might not get there. What you don't, won't.
0 Replies
 
cathardor
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jul, 2011 06:01 am
@hawkeye10,
I'm really sorry, but no - i don't care about stavving africans when there are so many people on the dole que here at home. We need to get our facts right and our priorities right. My sister cnat get help , because she works hard. She does thrity hours a eek in a good job and cant get enough money to ppay her mortgage. so what do the govenment do? tell her she cant have social anymore, because shes working too much. what kind of society is that? never mind givign money to africa - we need to keep our money here at home first.
0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  3  
Reply Mon 25 Jul, 2011 07:07 am
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

.......... Unless a comprehensive population control policy is imposed, Western aid seems to be more of a conscience-easing exercise rather than a considered response.

With respect, it may be less of a "conscience-easing exercise" and more of a realisation of the reality of exponential functions attendant to uncontrolled reproduction - as has been the case in the entire Horn of Africa since the post-colonial "food-aid" started; the area was Africa's bread-basket before!

These "droughts" are inevitable when all trees are cut for firewood over decades - and none are ever replanted. What rain comes down inevitably washes off the topsoil until all that's left is bare rock turning into sand - anybody here familiar with the "desertification" (sorry, ugly word) satellite pictures?!

Farmerman's wells can't help - with no trees to concentrate humidity, there will be no rain - and Setanta's encouragement of African agriculture also can't help without topsoil to cultivate. Each starving African fed by Western aid 40 years ago has now turned into 2,000 starving Africans. Simple mathematics:
http://www.tvmcalcs.com/calc_images/formulas/Simple-vs-Compound-Interest.png
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jul, 2011 07:41 am
@aidan,
David wrote:
Well, as we said, there is a theoretical possibility that it gets thru to the Africans.
If not, then I guess the Oxfam people will enjoy the 18 pounds of silver a month
aidan wrote:
Yeah - although I think my belief is based on slightly more than theory.
(Not that it is any of my business, but) do u know
whether any of it actually arrives at the starving Africans?
Assuming that the charity does pass it along,
is it intercepted by the local army, militia, customs agents etc.?




aidan wrote:
I'd tend to go more with a registered charity made up of people who have made this their life's work for sixty or seventy years than with the opinion, no matter how considered, of armchair theorists.
I mean, Good God man - I'm sitting here wondering why, if these people know so much about how it shouldn't be done and should be done - aren't they out there doing it? Or at least writing letters to tell the people who are doing it how to do it. Why are they hanging out here?
You know - as we speak - people are STARVING!!
For most of us, our attention is focused elsewhere (e.g., in America).
I gotta say, africa does not ofen come to mind.







aidan wrote:
I'd rather give my eighteen pounds a month to Oxfam than stuff more food down my own gullet or buy my little doggy a treat.
But that's just me.
Hawkeye asked and I answered.


aidan wrote:
Why the hell do I have to justify what I do?
Anyone else doesn't believe in it and doesn't want to do it - it's none of my business.
But I can and will do whatever I feel is the right and necessary thing to do.
And no one here has convinced me it isn't.
U certainly DON'T have to justify anything.

In candor tho, the contributions of Hawkeye and High Seas to this thread
raise significant questions of whether American (and English) aid
have effectively sabotaged Hatian and African economies.

Thay indicate that aid has done more harm than good.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jul, 2011 07:05 pm
Of course we care.

And aid agencies are doing their best in desperate, sometimes extremely dangerous circumstances, but the lack sufficient funds is not the only problem in getting food to the starving.

There are other factors at work as well.
Like war, conflicts, opportunism & politics.
What to do when there is denial, by the military group which controls of parts of Somalia, that a famine actually exists, to resist outside "interference"?
....and refuses to cooperate with the best efforts of UN and aid groups.

Quote:
Last week, the UN formally declared a famine in two areas of southern Somalia.

Al-Shabab*, which controls large swathes of south and central Somalia, signalled earlier this month that it would accept certain aid groups it had previously banned, but appeared to change its mind on Thursday.

The group denies a famine is taking place and said the UN's famine declaration is politically motivated.


The renewed threat from al-Shabab means only a handful of agencies will be able to respond to the hunger crisis in the area under its control.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on donor countries to come up with $1.6bn in aid for the two regions of southern Somalia designated by the UN as famine zones.

The World Bank on Monday pledged more than $500m for the region, with the bulk of the money going towards long-term projects to aid farmers

However, $12m will be immediately released for relief projects for those worst hit by the drought



http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/07/201172513262024379.html

Who are al-Shabab?:*
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2009/08/20098432032479714.html
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jul, 2011 08:51 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
David - the charity I contribute to is not only about delivering food and aid. As you can see it also works to help and educate people to empower themselves. A large part of it is campaigning for change in the corrupt governmental regimes that foster the environment in which these people have to live.
It's not at all only about putting food in their mouths.

Quote:
Oxfam. What springs to mind? Charity shops and second-hand clothes? Donkeys from our Oxfam Unwrapped gift catalogue, bought for people in far-flung lands? They're part of the picture. But think bigger. Much bigger...

Oxfam is a vibrant global movement of passionate, dedicated people fighting poverty together. Doing amazing work, together. People power drives everything we do. From saving lives and developing projects that put poor people in charge of their lives and livelihoods, to campaigning for change that lasts. That’s Oxfam in action.
.What we do
To have the biggest possible impact on the lives of poor people worldwide, Oxfam concentrates on three interlinked areas of work:

.. Emergency response
People need help in an emergency – fast. We save lives, swiftly delivering aid, support and protection; and we help communities develop the capacity to cope with future crises.

Development work
Poor people can take control, solve their own problems, and rely on themselves – with the right support. We fund long-term work to fight poverty in thousands of communities worldwide.
Where we work

. Campaigning for change
Poverty isn’t just about lack of resources. In a wealthy world it’s about bad decisions made by powerful people. Oxfam campaigns hard, putting pressure on leaders for real lasting change.



And actually, what High Seas wrote convinced me more than ever that it is important to contribute unless we want to watch these people die.
Would you ask these people to wait until all the facilities and disparate problems are solved to eat? Should they have to wait for the top soil to be replenished and the deserts reforested?
Do they not deserve to eat because they were born in a country with a corrupt government?
I don't get it.
And as far as having compassion fatigue - yeah - I do - when it comes to Americans.
Oh, I'm sorry that you can't afford the petrol for your 7 passenger SUV and to run your central air conditioning night and day around the clock. Yeah - sorry that you can only afford to eat at McDonald's and have to give up the sit down meal at Appleby's for the time being. Sorry you can't afford the electricity to run your pool filter.
I lived there David - I know what tightening your belt means to a middle class American.
And even for the poorest American citizens, it literally never means watching your child die by the side of the road of starvation and you leaving him or her there so you can try to save your other children by getting them to some food and water.
I know - I've spent my whole working life in America working with the poorest Americans.

Give me a break - it's called TRIAGE. I don't think about people based on their nationality. I look at who's in the most desperate situation and needs help NOW.

And I'm not going to take my distaste on the tactics of a government of a country out on the children who live there.

Jesus - what if people all over the world equated me as an American with the American government?
There'd be no hope for me.

Yeah - let's just use the governments as an excuse not to care or give.

No - I don't have compassion fatigue for Africans - not at all.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jul, 2011 09:44 pm
@aidan,
aidan wrote:

Oh, I'm sorry that you can't afford the petrol for your 7 passenger SUV and to run your central air conditioning night and day around the clock. Yeah - sorry that you can only afford to eat at McDonald's and have to give up the sit down meal at Appleby's for the time being. Sorry you can't afford the electricity to run your pool filter.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  3  
Reply Mon 25 Jul, 2011 09:48 pm
@aidan,
aidan wrote:

Oh, I'm sorry that you can't afford the petrol for your 7 passenger SUV and to run your central air conditioning night and day around the clock. Yeah - sorry that you can only afford to eat at McDonald's and have to give up the sit down meal at Appleby's for the time being. Sorry you can't afford the electricity to run your pool filter.


Fair enough, but don't you forget there are a lot of wealthy pirates in Somalia. Sure, the poor devils are only pirates because somebody is fishing in their waters, but wouldn't it be a nice gesture if they were to jump in with their usual enthusiasm? They're probably better able to work within the local infrastructure than anyone else.
High Seas
 
  2  
Reply Tue 26 Jul, 2011 05:36 am
@roger,
The UN - meeting in a palazzo in Rome, reasonably enough, and not in any sun-baked desert! - came up yesterday with this brilliant observation on the risks of the current East African famine : “....a generation of children in jeopardy of irreversible physical and cognitive impairments, due to the devastating impact of malnutrition and disease” and is starting food air-drops in the affected areas. The inescapable fact is that this "generation" isn't in any such "jeopardy" - it has already suffered it, whether enough food gets to it or not. That is the argument of the local organizations calling for refusing foreign food aid - that these starving populations have doomed themselves by having 10 children apiece when they themselves had barely enough to eat, and there is no saving them now by feeding them except by turning them into shadows of humans, forever mentally and physically crippled, but still able to procreate, pertpetuating this tragedy. So no, the wealthy pirates won't help; and anyone who does has to weigh his own responsibility next time the famine returns.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  4  
Reply Tue 26 Jul, 2011 05:53 am
I was thinking much the same thing yesterday, when i heard a report on CBC about refugees arriving in Kenya. The reporter told of one man who arrived with four children, but said he had left Somalia with nine children, and that five had died along the way. What the hell is going through a man's mind that he brings nine children into the world in a failed state that cannot feed its population, and which has been a failed state that cannot feed its population for the last 20 years?
0 Replies
 
 

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