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Africa2 min read


Horn of Africa Crisis Continues

Vernon Brewer
Aug 25, 2011

My experience at Dadaab refugee camp, as you will see in this video, rivals any humanitarian crisis I’ve ever witnessed.

In a dusty haze that cloaked the entire camp in an eerie hue of red, I sensed helplessness; I saw hollow eyes and empty hands; I touched the sick and dying; I smelled death; and I heard the haunting whimper of babies unable to muster the energy to cry. These are the moments that change a person forever.

In an address to the World Help staff, Senior Vice President Tom Thompson reminded us that the Somali people are intelligent, proud, and capable. They have farmed and cultivated the land for thousands of years, and should not be seen as helpless or unqualified. Simply put, they are neighbors in need of our help, our prayers, and our voices.

You and I must continue to tell their story. We can’t wait on the media or the government to step up to what seems to be the most obvious headline in history. The fact that 30,000 Somali children have died in the last 90 days alone should be enough to gain full international attention. If we do not share with others the crisis happening in Somalia, we will be doomed to repeat shortcomings, such as the Rwandan genocide, that mar the pages of our moral history.

This excerpt from the New York Times speaks for itself:

The worsening of the food crisis affecting more than 12 million people in the Horn of Africa is unacceptable and should make the world feel ashamed, the head of the UN food agency said this week. ‘It is unacceptable for more than 12 million people to be at risk of starving today,’ Jacques Diouf, head of Food and Agriculture Organisation, said at the start of the conference in Rome on the drought crisis. ‘The required funding is lacking. If governments and their donor partners do not invest now, the appalling famine we are now struggling to redress will return to shame the international community yet again,’ he said.

I ask you to continue to make the plight of the Somali people a priority in your mind and heart. Through your incredible generosity, we have already raised $120,000 toward the cost of shipping 20 containers of food supplies (nearly 5 million meals) to Somali refugees who have waited weeks on the outskirts of Dadaab camp in Kenya to be processed. I couldn’t be more encouraged by this response.

Even so, I would like to challenge you to share with your friends and neighbors this exceptional opportunity to send $12.5 million worth of life-saving medicine to Somalis in need.

While completely funding the initial phase of our response strategy in only a few short weeks is an incredible first step toward meeting these needs, we have decided to continue container shipments (food and medicine) for as many units as can be funded.

Each container, regardless of its contents, costs approximately $6,000 to ship.

In everything I experienced, it was confirmed to me even more that World Help must continue to play a strategic role in the face of such indescribable circumstances. Join me today in investing in something that will outlive you and last for eternity.

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