Food emergencies are dramatically compounded when large groups of people flee their homes to escape persecution, armed conflict, environmental degradation or famine, often in combination.
In 2002, the World Food Program's entire $1.2 billion global budget was needed in Africa, largely because of the Ethiopian famine and the political crisis in Zimbabwe. With escalanting conflicts in Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and food emergencies in Angola an South Africa, an appalling system of triage has developed. As hunger spreads, crises are weighed against one another, and contributions from donor governments are always behind the curve.
|Image adapted from Open Clip Art|
For Jack Ehn, editor of the Insight & Opinion section, the voice of the community was very important. He would often ask representatives of various community organizations to put together Op-Ed pieces on a variety of issues to publish every week.
Here is a joint piece that UNM Prof. Jennifer Moore and I wrote on World Food Day in 2003 Thirteen years ago, we addressed the famine in Ethiopia, a political crisis in Zimbabwe, and a refugee crisis in sub-Saharan Africa. "The needs of sub-Saharan Africa will be best served if we come together as a global community to find long-term solutions to multiple problems in the region," we said in the Op-Ed piece.
So has the situation changed in 2016? Famine subsided in Ethiopia, but climate change and drought have once again put the East African country in peril. Zimbabwe remains in a state of economic and political crisis. What about the refugee situtation? This piece in The Washington Post sheds light on the most recent refugee crisis in sub-Saharan Africa where refugees are fleeing from dire conditions in their country to dangerous places. According to the report, 43,000 South Sudanese refugees have fled to Darfur and 100,000 Ethiopians and Somalis traveled by boat to Yemen, and nearly 5,000 citizens of Congo were seeking refuge in the Central African Republic.
So let's repeat what we said in 2003. "The needs of sub-Saharan Africa will be best served if we come together as a global community to find long-term solutions to multiple problems in the region.
Here is the Op-Ed that Jenny and I wrote in 2003.