Saturday, July 16, 2011

Famine in the Horn of Africa

            You’ve seen the images hundreds of times: a desperate child with his belly protruding held up only by stick-like legs. But how much does that image affect you now? Thanks to the internet and television we are able to know about and see any and all devastation from around the world. But has that weakened the power of those images? Right now in the “horn of Africa” (northern Kenya, Ethiopia, and southern Somalia) there is what is being called the worst drought in nearly 60 years. That, combined with soaring world food prices is shaping up into a massive famine. But this famine was being predicted and warned about since last year. And yet international aid is nowhere near what it should be. One article warns against this “donor fatigue.” Another article questions whether time is an issue. When a natural disaster such as a hurricane or a flood occurs, aid seems to pour in from around the world. But something like a drought and the onset of a famine which occurs more slowly doesn’t seem to get the same urgent attention. This drought in the horn of Africa will have significant consequences for all those who are HIV positive. Even the slightest malnutrition can be devastating for an AIDS patient. I’ll blog more about this as it unfolds. For now here are some more articles if you’re interested:

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