8,000 miles from us. While the situation in the Horn of Africa is extremely urgent, this is a crisis that is not causing havoc with the global economy, so world leaders are not responding appropriately.
For those of us who are people of faith and citizens of the United States, it is important to respond. Here are some suggestions..
This great background section from Bread for the World has a lot of resources, including a timeline and a video. And here are a couple of background pieces from Doctors Without Borders.
Dadaab, Kenya: Somalis Fighting For Survival
Somalis in Kenya: From One Desert to Another
We must hold every man, woman and child affected by the crisis in our hearts through prayers. Each in our own way, can find the best way to do this. Here is an excerpt from a great prayer by Mark Koenig, Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations
the ground is parched,
the food is limited and costly,
and your children,
our brothers and sisters,
hunger, sicken, and die
in the Horn of Africa.
O God, strengthen our sisters and brothers who hunger;
comfort our brothers and sisters who grieve;
accompany our sisters and brothers who leave their homes.
Read full prayer
ONE: Parts of Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia are facing one of the worst droughts in 60 years, and more than 12 million people are desperately in need of food, clean water and basic sanitation. Despite the urgency of the situation, most world leaders are responding too slowly. Immediate aid is essential. Yet at the same time we must not let them drop the ball on long term solutions as has too often happened in the past. Sign On-Line Petition to World Leaders.
I'm sure you know of many worthy organizations involved with relief efforts in the Horn of Africa. Rather than offer a long list, I'll mention three very worthy groups.
CARE: An ongoing civil war and a severe drought in Somalia is driving tens of thousands of people to seek refuge across the border in the Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya. However, Dadaab is extremely beyond capacity and the influx of new arrivals is straining already-limited resources.
The refugees are exhausted, weak and dispirited — and they are not alone. There are 11 million people in the Horn of Africa facing the most severe food crisis in the world today and the worst drought to affect the region in 60 years. There is little likelihood of the food crisis and drought letting up until 2012.
Donate to CARE
Catholic Relief Services: This is being called the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. CRS and our partners are responding to this disaster at the refugee camps near Dadaab and elsewhere in the most affected areas in Ethiopia and Kenya. Shelter, water and food are stretched to the limit, and we urgently need your help. Donate to Catholic Relief Services' East Africa Emergency Fund.
Doctors without Borders/Medicins sans Frontiers (MSF)/: Somali refugees continue to arrive at the overcrowded camp complex in Dadaab, northeastern Kenya, every day. They are fleeing the violent conflict in Somalia and the devastating effects of ongoing drought and lack of food. The third week of July alone brought 5,117 new refugees, pushing the total number of people in and around the Dadaab camp to 387,893. The three camp sites—Ifo, Hagadera and Dagahaley—were originally built to hold a combined 90,000 people. Support MSF's Lifesaving Work