This is an interesting question which, unfortunately, is diminished by your scolding tone.
East Africa is reeling under the effects of a devastating famine, which could lead to the immediate deaths of 800,000 children from starvation due to a confluence of destructive forces. Overall, 11 million people in the region are threatened by what experts agree is the world’s worst food crisis in 50 years. In a triangular area called the Horn of Africa, crops and animals are dying due to a persistent drought that has strangled the ability of its nation’s farmers to produce food. Compounding the pain is an ongoing war in southern Somalia, whose militant factions are blocking aid groups seeking to transport food to the suffering.
The countries of Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Eritea are among the most profoundly ravaged in what some aid workers are now calling the “Triangle of Death.” These workers have witnessed hundreds of thousands crawl into camps, many to eat their first nutritious meals in months. The facilities are dirty, over-crowded, and lacking in the infrastructure needed to sustain masses of refugees. Yet, these meccas of hope are famine victims’ only oasis. The Week describes their circumstances:
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.
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:
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.
OMG someone is starving! where can i send loads of money that actually never reaches there?
"Make a list of all the other environmental problems that now afflict us and our poor battered planet - the increase of greenhouse gases and consequential global warming, the acidification of the oceans and the collapse of fish stocks, the loss of rainforest, the spread of deserts, the shortage of arable land, the increase in violent weather, the growth of mega-cities, famine, migration patterns. The list goes on and on. But they all share one underlying cause. Every one of these global problems, social as well as environmental, becomes more difficult - and ultimately impossible - to solve with ever more people."
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.
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.
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. (Hicks, you may recall, was one of the four New York Times staffers captured in Libya earlier this year.)
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.
"I'm asking myself where is everybody and how loud do I have to yell and from what mountaintop," Caryl Stern, chief executive of the United States Fund for UNICEF, told the paper. "The overwhelming problem is that the American public is not seeing and feeling the urgency of this crisis
With little-to-no media coverage, relief efforts—and fundraising—have stalled. UNICEF, Stern said, has raised just $5.1 million of its $300 million goal.