U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

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Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby alan » Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:09 am

Their suffering will continue until they get the political situation figured out, which they won't.
Send money if you wish but realize it is a hopeless cause.
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Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby Ben » Sat Aug 06, 2011 6:28 am

alan wrote:Their suffering will continue until they get the political situation figured out, which they won't.
Send money if you wish but realize it is a hopeless cause.


Quite the contrary.

Just an indication of how profound a difference a little money can make to the lives of those facing starvation:

Cost of food for one week for one family in sub-saharan Chad: $US1.23
Source: What the World Eats

Cost of providing water for 20 people for 20 years in East Africa: $US20
Source: Charity: Water

And in Myanmar I witnessed how one person, with no money of her own, could make an incredible difference to the lives of tens of thousands of people in the face of, at best, political indifference.

Just follow the links in my signature field.

kind regards

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Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Sat Aug 06, 2011 12:03 pm

Ben wrote:Indeed.

Something I read yesterday made me think...

Charity: water estimates each $US20 donation is enough to provide one person with clean drinking water for 20 years.


Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/world/from-220 ... z1TSl0fgxb


Absolutely incredible. Just goes to show how little money can make such a profound difference.

Makes one wonder, one singer dies, tens of thousands have died, ---555 views, 160 views.

It may not be that unusual. Have a look at the title of the article I linked above:

From $220 to $400,000: Rachel's dream becomes a reality


On one level its a real indictment of who we are and what motivates our care and compassion.

And remember - dana is good, a really good thing to do.


Ben,

Thank you for the gentle reminders. I have just donated $10.00 to the link at the bottom of your signature. I find it hard to justify the extravagances that I indulge in when so many are starving to death. As you may know, I observe Ramadan (due to a complex combination f circumstance) and am trying to make it a conscious practice not only of nekkhama but also of dana by donating the cost of the meals I skip each day to suitable charities or homeless people on the streets. May you and everyone else who has contributed to this thread be well and thank you again! Anumodana!

Mike
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Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby chownah » Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:35 pm

From a post above:
"the worst humanitarian crisis in the troubled country in two decades"
It was WORSE 20 years ago.......it is going to happen again.......even when this famine is over don't forget that it is going to happen again.......don't wait for melanoma to appear before you start using sun block.....don't wait for your teeth to fall out before you start flossing......don't wait for the next famine before......
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Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:34 pm



http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... _%26_video

Original story:

Once a man was walking along a beach. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. Off in the distance he could see a person going back and forth between the surf's edge and and the beach. Back and forth this person went. As the man approached he could see that there were hundreds of starfish stranded on the sand as the result of the natural action of the tide.

The man was stuck by the the apparent futility of the task. There were far too many starfish. Many of them were sure to perish. As he approached the person continued the task of picking up starfish one by one and throwing them into the surf.

As he came up to the person he said, "You must be crazy. There are thousands of miles of beach covered with starfish. You can't possibly make a difference." The person looked at the man. He then stooped down and pick up one more starfish and threw it back into the ocean. He turned back to the man and said, "It sure made a difference to that one!"

Original Story by: Loren Eisley
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Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby Ben » Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:46 pm

Dear Mike,
Khalil Bodhi wrote:Ben,

Thank you for the gentle reminders. I have just donated $10.00 to the link at the bottom of your signature. I find it hard to justify the extravagances that I indulge in when so many are starving to death. As you may know, I observe Ramadan (due to a complex combination f circumstance) and am trying to make it a conscious practice not only of nekkhama but also of dana by donating the cost of the meals I skip each day to suitable charities or homeless people on the streets. May you and everyone else who has contributed to this thread be well and thank you again! Anumodana!

Mike

Thanks for sharing your act of generosity. Your selflessness dana is indeed an inspiration.
with Metta

Ben
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

Sayagyi U Ba Khin


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global Relief
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Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby Ben » Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:48 pm

Hi David,

David N. Snyder wrote:

http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... _%26_video

Original story:

Once a man was walking along a beach. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. Off in the distance he could see a person going back and forth between the surf's edge and and the beach. Back and forth this person went. As the man approached he could see that there were hundreds of starfish stranded on the sand as the result of the natural action of the tide.

The man was stuck by the the apparent futility of the task. There were far too many starfish. Many of them were sure to perish. As he approached the person continued the task of picking up starfish one by one and throwing them into the surf.

As he came up to the person he said, "You must be crazy. There are thousands of miles of beach covered with starfish. You can't possibly make a difference." The person looked at the man. He then stooped down and pick up one more starfish and threw it back into the ocean. He turned back to the man and said, "It sure made a difference to that one!"

Original Story by: Loren Eisley


That s a great story and salient reminder that none of our wholesome efforts are ever wasted.
kind regards

Ben
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

Sayagyi U Ba Khin


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global Relief
UNHCR Syria Emergency Relief AppealTyphoon Haiyan Relief AppealKiva: (person to person micro-finance)

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
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Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby christopher::: » Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:03 am

Khalil Bodhi wrote:
Ben wrote:Indeed.

Something I read yesterday made me think...

Charity: water estimates each $US20 donation is enough to provide one person with clean drinking water for 20 years.


Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/world/from-220 ... z1TSl0fgxb


Absolutely incredible. Just goes to show how little money can make such a profound difference.

Makes one wonder, one singer dies, tens of thousands have died, ---555 views, 160 views.

It may not be that unusual. Have a look at the title of the article I linked above:

From $220 to $400,000: Rachel's dream becomes a reality


On one level its a real indictment of who we are and what motivates our care and compassion.

And remember - dana is good, a really good thing to do.


Ben,

Thank you for the gentle reminders. I have just donated $10.00 to the link at the bottom of your signature. I find it hard to justify the extravagances that I indulge in when so many are starving to death. As you may know, I observe Ramadan (due to a complex combination f circumstance) and am trying to make it a conscious practice not only of nekkhama but also of dana by donating the cost of the meals I skip each day to suitable charities or homeless people on the streets. May you and everyone else who has contributed to this thread be well and thank you again! Anumodana!

Mike


Thank you both for your generosity and these reminders. We who live in modern "developed" nations have it so easy compared to most people who share our world.

:anjali:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby sattva » Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:38 pm

Thanks for all the posts, links, and thoughts, everyone. :anjali:

I am not a big fan of most news shows (I prefer public televison to others), but Anderson Cooper at CNN is broadcasting from Somalia tonight (8 EDT) and he did last night, also.

Here is one video:
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/ ... =allsearch

Here are some links to videos about Somalia and Kenya on the CNN site:
http://www.cnn.com/search/?query=Somali ... intl=false
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Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby palchi » Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:43 pm

This is the UNICEF emergency appeal to donor countries: http://www.unicef.org/emerg/files/UNICE ... y_2011.pdf It has the hard data as of 24 July - description of the crisis in the different countries, number of children affected, action needed and funding gaps...
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Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby chownah » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:29 am

http://www.pri.org/stories/world/africa ... -5343.html

From the link:

"Western hedge funds have begun buying up vast parcels of land all over Africa. According to a series of new reports by the Oakland Institute, over 148 million acres in the last three years alone have been purchased -- that's an area larger than California.

The reports say the purchased land is often used to produce export commodities -- including biofuels, cut flowers and specialized foods -- and are displacing millions of Africans from fertile farmland.
.............................."

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Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby chownah » Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:31 am

http://www.unhcr.org/4e3817d89.html
Headline: "Fighting hampers aid effort inside Somalia amid fears of spreading famine"
Looks like having enough food available is not necessarily the biggest problem.
chownah
Also....................
http://www.voanews.com/english/news/afr ... 80028.html
Headline: Somali Government Welcomes US Aid

In this article it says:
"U.S. President Barack Obama has approved $105 million in new drought and famine aid to East Africa."
and also.....
"The United States has already contributed $565 million in aid to Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya"
Looks like having enough money available is not necessarily the biggest problem either.
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Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby chownah » Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:16 am

Consider malaria.....from the World Health Organization web site I found that there are an estimated one million deaths from malaria each year and 80% of them are children in Africa....that's more than 2,000 children dieing EVERY DAY....or 60,000 children dieing EVERY month......every month there is a disaster in Africa equivalent to the famine now in Somalia.....every month from a happy new year in january to a merry christmas in december...of course since these deaths occur scattered around the place they don't make a grand media event of a horde of dieing people so we don't hear about it so much....but it's much worse and has going on for a long time and get this...over 70% of these deaths could be prevented with insecticide treated nets and education!!!.....this has been going on for years and we still haven't provided these people with insecticide treated nets and an explanation on how to use them!!!!!......dukkah indeed.....every month 60,000 children dieing.....going on for years.....mosquito nets and instructions!!!.....boggles the mind....
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Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby Kim OHara » Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:00 pm

Hi, Chownah,
There are lots of causes for the current crisis. Some are natural, widespread and ongoing like malaria, some are political/neocolonial like the American corporations' land-grab (there has been a Chinese one going on as well - don't know what they are doing now), some are natural but unpredictable - especially the weather patterns, which can make the difference between subsistence and starvation on a year-to-year basis.
Some of them feed into each other - I'm sure the chronic political instability in Somalia, Sudan (even Afghanistan) is as much due to survival stresses as to anything else.
But the bottom line is that people are suffering - now - and we can (and, I think, should) do what we can to alleviate suffering.

:namaste:
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Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby chownah » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:50 pm

Kim O'Hara,
I'm definitely with you on the bottom line....feed them now.

Looks like it's still getting worse....now it seems the famine has spread to Ethiopia as well:
http://news.yahoo.com/rising-hunger-sou ... 45136.html
From the article:
".............
This ethnically diverse region is overpopulated. Most families have six or more people, but farmers till only tiny, state-owned plots.
................."
So it looks like overpopulation is also a factor in this ongoing crisis....some people see the famine as simply "population control"....seems like education and birth control aid would be a more compassionate form of "population control"....After these people are fed and the rains return and they can feed themselves will everyone forget this aspect of the problem and thus insure a repeat of this tragedy?....they always have in the past....
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Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:51 pm

Yes, feed them now and try to deal with the long term solutions later.

In regard to population, the last time I was in Ethiopia was in year 2006. The population was about 75 million. Today it is 91 million. In the year 2050 it is expected to be 278 million (if current trends continue). :o

At 278 million, Ethiopia will be the 7th most populated country in the world in the year 2050.

http://www.geohive.com/

The drought-famine areas need to be abandoned and migration needs to go more toward the lush areas toward the center of the country. Not too far from the capitol there are some lush areas where avocados grow rampantly. I heard that for years they were exported because it is not part of the culture to eat them. They mostly used it for hair lotions and for export. But now they have learned how to prepare and eat them, thank goodness.

I have been to some of the areas listed as "minimal" or "stressed" with famine and they were pretty bad, so I can just imagine how bad the "crisis" areas must be. My family and I have delivered some food directly in the past and when they were finished, I stretched my hand to greet them and they gave me their wrist in respect so that my hand would not touch their hands which were covered with food (they eat with their hands) -- very nice people in this and many other ways.
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Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:49 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:Yes, feed them now and try to deal with the long term solutions later.

In regard to population, the last time I was in Ethiopia was in year 2006. The population was about 75 million. Today it is 91 million. In the year 2050 it is expected to be 278 million (if current trends continue). :o

At 278 million, Ethiopia will be the 7th most populated country in the world in the year 2050.

Long term solutions, here and in other struggling nations, revolve around health care, family planning and (perhaps less obviously) educating girls.
Educating girls gives them economic power which gives them, in turn, more control over their reproductive life. Meanwhile, reduced infant mortality means less need to have lots of children to make up for the likelihood that many will die young (and we must remember here that children will often be the only source of support for their parents' old age - old-age pensions, etc, are virtually unknown).
Such wholesale social change will take years but is achievable and the sooner it begins, the better off everyone will be, since population will peak at a lower level.

:namaste:
Kim

Edit: fixed typo :embarassed:
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Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby chownah » Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:28 pm

I found this article to be very interesting:
http://finance.yahoo.com/banking-budget ... et=&ccode=
The title is "Charity Fails". The main idea it develops is that if we look at our charity giving as if it was an investment then it seems that we aren't getting a very good return....and that perhaps if we started thinking of charity as being an investment rather than a gift then perhaps we would get a better return on our investment.....there are no particulars given as to how this could be done however.

It is noones intention to interrupt the current flow of giving away from the crisis in Africa...those people need to be fed now....but the idea is that if people started thinking about different approaches to problems proactively so as to find better ways to use our gifting then maybe we would get better returns. This idea sort of what I have been posting about here....that just thinking in terms of giving in the usual way (which is important and especially now it should not be interupted) is not doing much to anticipate or solve the problem....so maybe its time to start thinking about this stuff in a different way.

What way?....I don't know....I'm not the answer man....talk to people about this....see what they think....the question is how can we get more bang for the buck when we support charity.

I'm an organic farmer so I think along those lines.......what if a charitable organization bought some farmland in Africa and started growing wheat (for example) which can be stored for decades without spoilage and just stockpile it in silos to be used as an immediate response when needed? This would be a charitable investment in food production instead of what we have now which is a charitable donation of food distribution......good idea?...bad idea?...impossible idea?....I don't know......
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Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:01 pm

chownah wrote:how can we get more bang for the buck when we support charity.


Hi chownah,

I agree. The area needs immediate help right now, but something has to be done more long term and something with more 'bang for the buck' as you say. I really like the concept of kiva:

http://www.kiva.org/team/theravada_buddhists

It appears to follow the philosophy of "give a man a fish, feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for life" which is a philosophy I really like. The borrowers choose their own needs or industry to start or help their business and re-pay when they can, which allows lenders to then make new loans to other people.
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Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby santa100 » Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:12 pm

For short-term solution, consider donating to a good and reliable charity. Mercy-USA gets very good rating from Charity Navigator. You might want to check it out..

http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.c ... orgid=4081
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