We’ve all heard the horror stories from relief workers distributing rations in Somalia.
Some related eye-witness accounts of babies still suckling from their mothers, not knowing that they had already died from starvation.
Others told of how mothers were hiding a dead child from his siblings, who were desparate to the point of wanting to eat his corpse.
While obesity in the world’s wealthiest nations climbs to unprecedented proportions, human beings in Somalia die from entirely-preventable hunger.
Last month, during the month of Ramadan, Americans learned that the sheer volume of the famine was that 30,000 women and children had died in a period of thirty days.
This month, things are no better. Here are some quick facts:
- 4 million people are in the midst of the famine crisis, according to the U.N.
- Of these, a staggering 750,000 are under immediate danger of ‘imminent starvation’
- The U.N. says a total of $2.5 billion is needed for drought and famine relief
The world has responded, but we could do better.
In an age where mergers and acquisitions easily pass the billion-dollar mark, the difference between what’s been raised and what’s needed could easily have been raised by the world’s mega-corporations.
But they have not done so because, after all, what’s in it for them?
Below is a quick run-down of what the world has so far pledged, not given:
- European Union – $750 million
- United States – $500 million
- Organization of the Islamic Conference – $350 million
Being a member of the Muslim-American community, I have personally witnessed the generosity of local Muslims as mosque after mosque held fundrasiers in cooperation with relief organizations for East Africa.
However, Somalia needs more than just our hand-outs. It needs our prayers.
If we can do nothing more, let us at least not lose hope in the power of prayer as we supplicate for the welfare of Somalia and all of the world’s destitutes.