Humanitarian Crisis: Starvation, Drought and Political Unrest- Act Now!

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The worst drought to hit Somalia in 60 years coupled with sustained violent political conflict and economical instability has led to a catastrophic humanitarian emergency in Somalia. 3.2 million people face starvation, with children being the most vulnerable. The sustained conflict has led to mass migration of Somali refugees to camps in Mogadishu, Kenya and Ethiopia.  The famine response has been exacerbated by rebel control of the hardest hit areas in the South who have denied access to the World Food Program (WFP), the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger.  While it has maintained operation in refugee camps and other areas, it suffers from a major funding gap that seriously hampers food distribution.  Aid agencies like Islamic Relief, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Somali NGOs have access to the southern region, but success has been limited due to poor funding and resource availability.

Graveyard of Innocents

We advocate immediate coordinated action between WFP and other aid agencies who have restricted access with ICRC through its sister society Somali Red Crescent Society, Islamic Relief and local Somali NGOs, who have greater freedom to work in the south as well as local expertise, to implement humanitarian aid to cover all famine-affected areas in Somalia. Furthermore, international aid organizations should work with various media outlets to raise money by pressuring donor countries who have not met their fund pledges to meet their commitments by running media clips.  Security concerns has limited action by the US media, though coverage has increased in the last week.

In addition, we further advocate establishing long-term sustainable agricultural interventions to improve food security.  The L’Aquila Food security commitment put forth by the G8 to develop food security in vulnerable countries by investing in agricultural development has not been met.  We urge a UN-directed task force to implement these interventions with appropriate collaborations including special advisor to UN and economist Jeffrey Sachs, who successfully promoted sustainable farming and instituted programs in various African countries by lobbying wealthy governments to provide seed and fertilizers, and the African Unionto provide leadership and establish partnerships with local institutions.  The fact is man, woman and child are dying and our humanity compels us to act.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIpkSjwtB74

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