Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Drought. No, Famine.

Again, during my hiatus, I was away from my blog, but not away from my news sources. The Horn of Africa has been experiencing one of the worst droughts in history and the pictures suck something terrible. I am tempted to lament about the "humanitarian effort" that was launched in Libya on our behalf but is sooooo not present right now in East Africa. Especially now that effort that is "humanitarian" in definition and likeness is imperative. The US did commit to $545 million dollars to the UN effort. I will not say that that is equal to just one Will Smith and 1/112 of one Bill Gates. I am not going to get into how the world is desensitized to blacks suffering on a wide-scale and thus aren't pressed to help. It's too easy.

No I am going to take the hard road and look at Africa as an African (you can make the argument about how "African" I am...). Droughts happen. Droughts happen fairly often in East Africa and increasingly often in recent years. Droughts do not necessarily produce famine---scarcity of food. This year it has. It is painfully tragic. As an African, we can no longer look to, depend on, wait on, the Western World for aid. Outside of their focus on maintaining the level of world exploitation and massive consumption (I mean, the housing crisis was really because we (I'm American here) were buying homes we couldn't afford and trying to live the American Dream--which is massive consumption) the Western World does not consider you "as human" as them. Nope. If God were to strike Canada with famine right now...millions of American dollars would appear out of no where. That's not going to change.

What we have to do Africa, as a fellow help ourselves. The New York Time reports that the African Union has a Fundraising Conference planned for August 25. Really? You need to clear out your schedules?     
South Africa,has given $150,000 and promised another $850,000. Sudan has sent $2.5 million, Namibia $500,000, and Botswana a little less. Kenya and Ethiopia, affected by the drought, are using their own money internally. But from the remaining 48 countries in Africa, there has been nothing.

What happened to all talk about "African solutions for African problems".  Oil-rich Nigeria and the other large African economies Angola, Tanzania and Egypt have not contributed at all. Also there is a world of difference economically between South Africa and Sudan. It is unfortunate that their aid does not reflect that. The continent is not poor, the resources are poorly managed. The richest man in Africa is worth 13.8 Billion...#51 in the world according to Forbes. A Nigerian. I guess Nigerian tax code doesn't deem a donation tax deductible. What about Africans in the Diaspora, whether 1 year, 1 generation or 5 generations removed? Let's see...Jay-Z and Kanye are auctioning a vandalized Maybach and donating that person's money to the effort...meanwhile Jay just dropped $250,000 on champagne in at the Fountainbleu. Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins for a reason.

Famine is the severe shortage of food. While I'm eating overpriced prime rib, a fellow sister as old as I is waiting in line for peanut butter paste...for her 6 kids and watching her infant shrivel away because her bosom is as dry as the soil. We may not be able to guard against drought, but we can guard against famine and that is through proper planning and allocation of public goods and resources. I know we have our own issues domestically...but we can still eat, eventually.
Donate. Please.

[photo source]
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