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U.S. Aids Famine Relief Effort

U.S. Aids Famine Relief Effort

There are so many events competing for our attention right now, there’s the debt crisis, the Norway attacks and a foiled attack here at home, it’s easy to get distracted. There’s another event unfolding in Africa, a humanitarian tragedy brought on by the perfect storm of drought and civil war.  Even amid all the other important events of the day, the U.S. doesn’t need to mobilize public opinion to swing into action, there’s an app agency for that. The U.S. Aid Agency recently pledged $28 million to fight famine in the Horn of Africa. In this video, Raj Shah, the USAID administrator announces the U.S. initiative.

In this opinion piece on The Huffington Post, George Rupp, the president of the International Rescue Committee, suggests seven things the U.S. can do to fight famine in Africa, including the important step of waiving U.S. anti-terrorism provisions that prevent aid agencies from being active in areas of Southern Somalia where the terrorist group al- Shabaab rules. Apparently our desire to stop the flow of money and supplies to this group clashes with the needs of humanitarian aid groups. Maybe those rules can be suspended for a short time, just to fight the famine. We all agree that these are bad guys, they’re the group that released a public statement denying that there is a famine while their civil war contributes to it. They are using famine as a weapon of war, so I think we are all agreed that a sound policy would deny support for them while making sure international aid gets to the people who really need it.

Whether through direct aid or donations from U.S. citizens, I’m confident that the U.S. will respond to this humanitarian crisis as we always have, with compassion and generosity.


Image Credit: Telegraph



Joel Davis

Joel Davis is the Director of Online Services at the International Studies Association in Tucson, Arizona. He is a graduate of the University of Arizona, where he received his B.A. in Political Science and Master's degree in International Relations. He has lived in the UK, Italy and Eritrea, and his travels have taken him to Canada, Brazil, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, and Greece.

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Areas of Focus:
State Department; Diplomacy; US Aid; and Alliances.

Contact Joel by e-mail at [email protected].