Time to take early action before another Horn of Africa drought


A global alarm has been sounded by several aid NGOs warning of the imminent but avoidable famine that could lead to the deaths of thousands in the Horn of Africa. The United Kingdom organization, The Department for International Development (DFID) reported that between 50,000 and 100,000 people, more than half of them children under five, died in the 2011 Horn of Africa crisis that affected Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.

The destruction of livestock, farms, and local market systems contributed to widespread starvation. US government estimated that the greatest number of casualties were among children under the age of five years. According to reports, in the 90 days between May and July of 2011 more than 29,000 children perished.

Save the Children and Oxfam, have both criticized the current emergency response systems operating in West Africa and the Sahel as seriously flawed and thus ill-equipped to manage the impending food shortage crisis.

"Early warning systems in the Sahel region show that overall cereal production is 25% lower than the previous year and food prices are 40% higher than the five-year average. The last food crisis in the region, in 2010, affected 10 million people," the report warns. (Source: Oxfam)

State of the World's Mothers | The Mother Index

Today, 03 May 2011, the organization Save the Children released its annual report 'State of the World's Mothers,' also referred to as the Mother's Index, it ranks countries by the care each country provides for its most precious resources - mothers and children. I was sad to learn that America continues to decline in ranking as it embraces corporatism at the sacrifice of family. Many mothers, including myself, often find ourselves on the loosing side of the battle to balance work and motherhood. A battle in which we are required on a daily basis to choose work over our welfare or that of our children. It is true that many in the world could accuse us of being soft and spoiled and I would have to agree on whole because the quality of life in America far out strips that of most mothers and children in many other countries. However, this fact does not diminish the struggles that American mothers are increasingly facing, and which is evidenced by America's decreased standing among developed nations.

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