There have been absolutely heart wrenching stories of hunger and famine due to the drought in Southern Somalia. I have been reading online about the terrible famine in the Horn of Africa. The stories of families walking hundreds of miles for food and the photos of small children who look like darkened skeletons simply make my heart ache. The conflict in Somalia has been raging for over 20 years and there appears to be no end in sight. Top the never ending conflict with a large scale drought and it becomes a full blown humanitarian crisis.
Currently, Al Shabab, an Islamic group controls much of the famine ravaged area. This group took control of much of the Southern portion of Somalia and has been limiting the amount of aid allowed into the drought stricken areas. Additionally, Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya all are experiencing extreme drought conditions in areas of their countries as well. It is estimated on the International Food Policy Research Institute website that roughly 30% of children in Somalia are malnourished. Ethiopia, and Kenya are staggering under the onslaught of thousands of displaced refugees from Somalia due to the infighting and drought on top of attempting to deal with their own drought compromised areas.
Sudan has an equally devastating hunger issue. Due to not only climate conditions but also political instability and a lack of infrastructure 15 to 30 percent of the Sudanese people are not eating enough food according to the World Food Programme Website. An average Sudanese citizen also spends roughly 60% of their income on food. Imagine 60% of your income just to feed your family.
I am very aware there is hunger in the United States. We have children in poverty stricken areas that are lucky to have one meal a day during the school year and have very little to eat during the summer. What is wrong with this picture? I have a full pantry in my home. We may not eat filet mignon but we eat very well. We live in air conditioned homes. Our families are not just 2 car families but many times 3 and 4 car families- if the kids have cars. We are a very wealthy nation. We are a nation that is blessed to have plenty. Many of us have endured large financial losses yet we still have homes and families. Many others have not been so lucky.
Today, while driving home from work I passed a very wealthy area with expensive shops and cute little restaurants. Yesterday, I worked in Immokalee where parts of the area make you feel like you are in a third world country. The two are less than 45 minutes apart. In Immokalee there are migrant camps, dirt roads and children in worn clothing. All around me are gated communities with guarded entrances and country clubs. The difference in income levels is absolutely staggering.
I am not suggesting socialism. I am suggesting respect for other human beings and compassion for the pain and suffering of others. Anyone who knows me knows I am not a go to church person but I think Luke 12:48 says it best:
"...For to whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much of him they will ask the more." American King James Version.
We as a country have been given so much and it is our duty to give back to those who are less fortunate.
Hunger is hunger whether it is in an inner city housing complex in Chicago, a small house in Appalachia or in war torn Darfur. Famine is hunger at the extreme end of the scale. We have the power to help alleviate the pain of those less fortunate. We can donate food or money to a local food bank. If you don't have money or extra food maybe you have some extra time. You can donate to the Red Cross or Red Crescent, The World Food Programme or countless other aid programs.
It is rare that a child in the United states dies of hunger. Every day around the world roughly 16,000 children die from hunger related causes. (The Global Hunger Website). My heart is breaking. Can you imagine how the mothers must feel. I can. They are heartbroken and we have the power to help stop hunger.
Here are some links that may help:
I love life!
Hi, I am Jo and this is my blog about my life. Here you will find entries on cooking, gardening, food safety and the interesting things happening in my search for an inexpensive and healthy way of living. My home is located in North Florida and I am relearning how to take care of myself at almost 50. This is the deep South so my garden and season may be a bit different than yours. I look forward to seeing what you have to say as time passes. Read on and have a beautiful day!