Nearly three months since the United Nations declared famine in Somalia, the seasonal rains have arrived that should alleviate some of the drought conditions. But new challenges are now arising, as parched areas produce flooding, important access roads wash out, and sanitation in camps for displaced Somalis worsen.
With large swaths of Somalia inaccessible due to the policies of the militant al-Shabaab group, and hundreds of thousands still suffering in areas controlled by the Somali government, the need for attention to the crisis remains urgent. As the president of the aid group Save the Children, Carolyn Miles, commented to The New York Times recently, “Americans are incredibly generous when they understand that children are in desperate need.” Miles said she thinks that if people knew that millions of children were starving to death, they would give. “But I don’t think Americans understand the scale of this disaster.”
A multi-media exhibition at George Washington University this week aims to raise the profile of the humanitarian crisis unfolding in East Africa. Featuring a projection of photos by world-class photographers accompanied by a live concert, the event will no doubt stir a call to action. A panel discussion will put the conflict in context through a variety of perspectives:
Halima Barqadle, RN, BSN, Volunteer nurse with the American Refugee Committee
John Prendergast, Co-Founder, Enough Project
Ambassador David Shinn, George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs
The event takes place on the GW campus Tuesday, November 8 (tomorrow) beginning at 5:30 p.m. Details about the location and participants are available through Art Works Projects.
Photo: Family transporting aid on a donkey cart in southern Somalia (AP)