While we again sit in the confines of our, generally speaking, cozy lifestyles, other parts of the world are in a deep struggle for survival. Earlier we spoke about helping the needy, and currently is a crisis which virtually no one is speaking about the crisis in Somalia. The average media outlet is far too concerned with the last bone-headed thing Donald Trump said, which celebrity is pregnant, and a variety of things which really do not make that big of a difference. While don’t get me wrong it’s important to cover what the president is saying there is far too much attention paid to something that should not be surprising. While coverage of many pertinent issues is important far too often foreign affairs are swept under the rug. One of the problems with this is the average American is unaware of what is going on outside of this nation. While I understand we have our own problems, but as one of the world powers, it’s our duty to help nations less fortunate than ourselves. Many American’s looks at Africa as a somewhat forgotten continent. There is little knowledge of African affairs in the minds of most Americans and often it is looked at by its worst stereotypes. In fact, many American’s are unaware that Africa is a continent composed of 54 different countries. Even sadder if you Google “nations in Africa” one of the suggested questions is “which continent is Africa on?” Now I’m not trying to highlight the ignorance of most people, it understandable that one cannot name all 196 nations in the world, but there are 7 continents. The issue which emerges from this mentality is we are unaware of issues which occur outside our sphere. We do not recognize issues before they develop and are correctable and far to often third world problems are only handled when they are a massive humanitarian crisis. However, in the case of the Somalian famine, there seems to be not attention given to this matter. It’s on a massive humanitarian crisis level, but this is news to me and to many others.
Many observers of the situation are calling this the “worst humanitarian crisis” in decades. Millions of lives are at stake in this crisis and it’s taking a toll on the children of Somalia. Here’s what we know about the current crisis. This is the third famine to face this region in the past 25 years and 6.2 million people’s lives are at risk. Below are some statistics from the United Nations:
6.2 million Somalis need urgent humanitarian aid, approximately half of the country’s population.
950,000 children under the age of five will be acutely malnourished this year.
185,000 of these children are at risk of death without immediate medical treatment.
Source: United Nations
If you would like to read more about this ongoing crisis please check out this article on CNN called Somalia: ‘People are dying of hunger…there’s no water’. If you would like to help Choose an established humanitarian organization to make your donation counts, such as the Red Cross East Africa Food Crisis Appeal, World Vision’s East Africa Appeal or UNICEF. On a slightly related note, keep in mind there is little refuge these people can receive either like Syria which is going through a massive humanitarian crisis, Somalia also falls under President Trump’s travel ban. It’s unlikely this effort is going to get the attention or financial support it needs without the help of donors to reputable NGO’s such as the ones linked above.
As Christians especially we cannot afford to become oblivious to the conflicts around the world which need our attention. We can continue to live in our own bubble or we can take action. We cannot continue to become distracted with the luxuries of our daily life when people are going about their daily lives in this kind of struggle.