U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby sattva » Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:35 pm

The United Nations has declared a famine in parts of Somalia:

http://www.un.org/News/briefings/docs/2 ... ia.doc.htm

One of the criteria for the UN's declaration of a famine is that 30% of children must be experiencing acute malnutrition.

More info from the UN's World Food Programme (WFP):
http://www.wfp.org/

I know that many of us are on tight budgets, but if you have food in your belly, water to drink, and shelter you are doing better than these people.

Accoding to WFP 10 Ways to Help:
http://www.wfp.org/stories/horn-africa- ... u-can-help

Some other organizations helping: Unicef, Care, and Save the Children. I am sure there are many more.

About refugee camps:
http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home
:anjali:
User avatar
sattva
 
Posts: 585
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 10:07 pm
Location: the western part of Maryland

Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby Ben » Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:42 pm

Thank you Sattva
Its about time the UN declared a famine.
The situation is deplorable
kind regrds

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16131
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby Ben » Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:15 pm

Famine victims converge on Mogadishu; region's camps report deaths

Through its partners, the UN refugee agency on Wednesday distributed emergency assistance packages benefiting 15,000 internally displaced Somalis in the Dharkenley district of south-west Mogadishu. An additional 7,500 packages will be distributed in the coming weeks, with each package containing a UNHCR tarpaulin for shelter, three blankets, a sleeping mat, two jerry cans and a full kitchen set and utensils.

http://www.unhcr.org/4e296f4f9.html


If you have the means and the volition, please consider contributing to the UNHCR or other NGO.
http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home

kind regards

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16131
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby sattva » Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:13 am

Thanks Ben for your replies.
It saddens me that no one else here seems to care. This Beatle's song is going through my mind.

"I look at you all, see the love there that's sleeping while my guitar gently weeps."

We read a lot here about metta and karuna, but there is an action element to these states as well as a feeling. If you love someone, you don't ignore them. You don't pretend they aren't there. You don't trivilize their difficulties. You don't stand their and let them starve to death. Even if all you can do is shout, do something, do something.
User avatar
sattva
 
Posts: 585
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 10:07 pm
Location: the western part of Maryland

Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby Ben » Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:31 am

Indeed, Sattva.
There is more to Dhamma than mere words.
kind regards

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16131
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby Ben » Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:46 am

"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16131
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby palchi » Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:53 am

Thanks Sattva and Ben.

It is indeed a deplorable situation - children dying at the roadside from hunger in this day and age. The UN has been in emergency mode for a while but the situation has reached unspeakable dimensions.

Please everybody, give whatever you can to support the people of Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya - and also send good thoughts to the aid workers in there, trying to help.
palchi
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:50 pm

Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby cooran » Sun Jul 24, 2011 5:02 am

It's possible that many people haven't posted in the thread because they already regularly donate to welfare agencies working there.

I donate on a monthly basis to the ICRC (Red Cross) and Medecins sans Frontieres who have been working in Somalia for quite a while and will continue to do so.

Red Cross in Somalia
http://www.icrc.org/eng/where-we-work/a ... /index.jsp

Medecins sans Frontieres in Somalia
http://www.icrc.org/eng/where-we-work/a ... /index.jsp

with metta and karuna,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7598
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Jul 24, 2011 5:10 am

cooran wrote:It's possible that many people haven't posted in the thread because they already regularly donate to welfare agencies working there.


:thumbsup:

Interactive map, showing the areas hurt the most from this drought:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-develo ... nteractive

From my non-expert perspective, but with some readings and travels in the area, I consider the following to be the biggest causes of the famines, in this order:

1. Drought
2. Subsistence farming
3. Warfare
4. Political economy in general of the region

But right now long term goals for eliminating these problems in the future need to be put at bay and focus needs to be on the immediate problem of getting food to the people, which the above links and agencies provide.
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8108
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby Ben » Sun Jul 24, 2011 5:15 am

Hi Chris

It would surprise me if you were not one of a very small minority.

Hi David,
Thanks for that interesting article and interactive map @ The Guardian.
kind regards

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16131
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby alfa » Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:39 am

Charity is wonderful, but the problem cannot be fixed without recognizing the actual cause of poverty: profit-based production. As long as profits are more important than people, the latter will continue to suffer. No point in denying this.
alfa
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:43 pm

Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Jul 24, 2011 7:50 am

alfa wrote:Charity is wonderful, but the problem cannot be fixed without recognizing the actual cause of poverty: profit-based production. As long as profits are more important than people, the latter will continue to suffer. No point in denying this.

No point denying causes, indeed, but we have to deal with the present effects or many will continue to suffer.
Let's pull the arrow out before we go in search of the bowman.

:namaste:
Kim
User avatar
Kim OHara
 
Posts: 3064
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:47 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby sattva » Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:13 am

Thanks Palchi for your support :anjali:

Chris, first of all, i want to applaud your efforts to help by donating to several organizations engaged in relief :clap:

I think some of what is bothering me is not just that people have not posted saying they were donating, but it doesn't seem to be a topic for discussion or even viewing. For example, although it is constantly changing, as i write this entry there are 97 views of this thread (and quite a few have been from me) compared to 182 times the Amy Winehorse thread has been viewed. The Winehorse thread has almost double viewing and it was started a day and a half AFTER this thread. Now, I can chalk that up to several things, but it does give me pause to wonder about priorities and interest, even among a group of Buddhists.

Not only did i post this thread, i sent out emails to friends and family. My 2 replies were from my Zen teacher and a long-time Buddhist friend from the UK who has already been donating to the relief effort. I also brought up this situation in the chat room and found a general lack of interest in more than an analytical way. I challenged people to at least read the thread and to read the links and try to do one thing, no matter how small, to help, but no one seemed that interested.

This brings me to Kim's point, "Let's pull the arrow out before we go in search of the bowman." This certainly is in line with Buddhist's teachings. Although i think it is important to think about and discuss the causes and conditions that lead to famine, hunger, and poverty as David and alfa suggest, it should not come before or at the expense of pulling the arrow out

I won't do it, but i can't help wondering about the replies one would get if a thread was started about the reason why people care more about Amy Winehouse than millions of people starving in Africa.
:buddha1:
User avatar
sattva
 
Posts: 585
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 10:07 pm
Location: the western part of Maryland

Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby Ben » Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:06 am

Hi Sattva

As part of one of the camps we do where I work, we give the students a presentation on how much money families spend on food (or the monetary equivalent of the food they grow) for consumption each week. The photos come out of a book that came out around ten years ago so I imagine that while the information isn't 100 percent accurate, it gives a pretty indicative snapshot.
The slide is a portrait of the family with all the food that they eat laid out in-front or around them with some basc details such as monetary value of weekly food consumption and a mention of the family's favourite meals. One of the most interesting photos is of a family from sub-sahara africa. The family is sitting on mat in front of a tent in what looks like a refugee tent city next to 20L water drums with five or six small bags of what look like grains and beans in front of them. Compared to the cost of a weekly food bill from the US or Europe of around $300 to $400 p/week, the sub-saharan family subsist for a week on approx $1.50 per week. It is interesting for a number of reasons but for me it goes to show that a surprisingly small amount of money can have such an incredible impact in assisting those who are actually on the edge of life and death.
kind regards

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16131
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby manas » Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:44 am

It's a difficult subject. Some people might avoid this topic not because they do not care, but because the images of the malnourished, hungry staring eyes of all those poor people haunt them, yet they find themselves in so much debt, and on such a low income, that giving in charity, except in a very meagre way, isn't practical. But sattva I agree with you, we should not just be sending metta, we should be sending money...I wish I had more of it to give.
User avatar
manas
 
Posts: 2129
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:04 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby Modus.Ponens » Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:15 pm

Thanks sattva.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
User avatar
Modus.Ponens
 
Posts: 2003
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:38 am
Location: Funchal, Portugal

Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:21 pm

The difficulty in Somalia right now is that a lot of the famine area is under the control of hard-line Islamic insurgent group, al-Shabab which is preventing relief organizations from getting in.
User avatar
Karma Dondrup Tashi
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:41 pm

Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby sattva » Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:03 am

The Amy Winehouse thread is now up to 555 views with 33 replies. This thread has only 160 views with 16 replies.

From the Washington Post:
"Famine in parts of southern Somalia has killed tens of thousands of people, mostly children, the United Nations said Wednesday in an official declaration of what aid officials describe as the worst humanitarian crisis in the troubled country in two decades".

"'In some areas of Bakool and Lower Shabelle, six children per 10,000 younger than 5 are dying every day', Bowden said".


Makes one wonder, one singer dies, tens of thousands have died, ---555 views, 160 views.
User avatar
sattva
 
Posts: 585
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 10:07 pm
Location: the western part of Maryland

Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby Ben » Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:00 am

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.
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16131
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:41 am

Unfortunately, the news isn't getting any better.

Over 29,000 dead, under the age of 5.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44021514/ns ... jzFJYLAztB

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43841708/ns ... jzE3oLAztA
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8108
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Next

Return to Lounge

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests