In recent weeks, there has been a growing buzz about the crisis in the Horn of Africa. Many of you may be unaware and granted I am more plugged in, as the organization that I work for is directly involved in all things related to food and agriculture the world round. In fact, in the last two weeks, they announced that the food price index was not showing any improvement, with the June 2011 index being 39% higher than that of June 2010.
Today, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN announced that two regions in southern Somalia have been declared to be in a state of famine and that in the next month or two, famine will become wide spread. In fact, at HQ where I work, there will be a ministerial level meeting next week in order for various governments to determine what exactly should be done.
Just thinking about people living in the Horn of Africa and people all over the world, for that matter, who are suffering from the spike in food prices and droughts makes tears come to my eyes. I think about the way people in the US live and the amount of calories consumed and contrast that with people who not only do not have access to protein but at this point cannot access simple staple foods such as cassava and rice.
I am sure that now there will be a call for people to reach into their pockets and donate to the cause but if Haiti or Myanmar or even New Orleans have taught you nothing about how mass donations do not help in the long term, take this time to reflect on that. I do not think that donating to large organizations is the solution, but unfortunately, I don’t know what the solution is. When I think of something I will let you know. Until then educate yourself. I have included a few links below. Sometimes simple awareness is what we need to get the process going.