Famine in Somalia could have been averted

The international community has had a long history of responding slowly to international crises.  They heed early warning signs, but they do not act.  They wait until there are pictures of dead bodies or famished children plaguing the TV, Internet and newspapers to do something about it.

If only the international community paid attention to early warning signs that famine was about to strike hard in Eastern Africa, then thousands of women and children would still be alive today.

Early warning signs of famine date back to August 2010; however, full-scale international aid did not come into play until July 2011.  That is almost a year of wasted time.  That is simply not acceptable.

When lives are at stake, no matter who they are, the international community must act. They have to act at the first signs of trouble; not when the trouble is already in full blown.

Risking lives to play it safe and wait for “proof of a humanitarian catastrophe before acting to prevent one” cannot be justified.

What good is globalization and the creation of the UN, AU, EU, NATO, etc if the international community just waits?

What good is the international community if they aren’t willing to bypass protocol to save lives?

They aren’t good- they’re useless.

The international community needs to step up and learn from its mistakes.  We have the technology today that can forewarn us about natural disasters and imminent danger- such as hunger. So we must take full advantage of it in order to save lives.

If we do not, then shame on us.


About Haley Behre

I graduated from Syracuse University in December 2011 with majors in newspaper journalism and women and gender studies. Using these majors, I aspire to become a journalist who writes about human rights issues. I have held internships at the Syracuse New Times, Dash Media PR Firm, Syracuse Post-Standard and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. I also had an internship at the Not For Sale Campaign Syracuse chapter, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking. I was born in Seoul, Korea on September 30, 1990 and moved to the United States before I was one year old. When I was 8, my family and I moved to Norwich, England for three years. While I was here I was immersed into a new culture and got to experience many things other children my age do not get to. Over the three years, I visited Ireland, France and the Netherlands several times, and Belgium, Wales and Sweden once. In the winter of 2010, I got an amazing opportunity to visit Kenya for a month. This was by far the single most eye-opening experience of my life thus far. The natural beauty of the landscape and its people do not compare to anything I have seen. I currently intern for the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press in the hopes of getting a full-time job at a newspaper or non-profit after.
This entry was posted in Africa, Transnational and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Famine in Somalia could have been averted

  1. Pingback: Somalia famine risk still very real | haleybehre

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