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23 million people in Africa facing starvation.

(55 Posts)
mumblecrumble Fri 18-Sep-09 19:53:08

What the heck can we do about it?

5 second piece about it on the radio news tonight and nothing anywhere else. I was very hungry on the way home and dd was crying as she was hungry. We ate eggs with tuna and cheese, yogurts and a friday night Oreo cookie.

What the hell would we do if we couldn;t feed our kids.

Sorry, not preachy or raving. Just so overwhlemed by it. 23 million? That's insane syrely

TheDMshouldbeRivened Fri 18-Sep-09 19:55:10

I know. sad
Its on my mind cos as a muslim its been ramadan. I cant fast cos of my illness so I have to pay whats called 'fidyah' towards feeding a hungry person. Its set at £2 a day.
The rick world could feed all these poeple. If the will was there. £50 million a day is probably less than is spent on useless crap around the world.

MaryBS Fri 18-Sep-09 19:55:50

That's awful

mumblecrumble Fri 18-Sep-09 19:57:47

I think ramadan is such a good thing to do. Really mak you empathise with those less fortunate.

My DH and I were thinking buying fair trade probably most ethical way to help.

Radio 4 discussion last night lead by a Kenyan chap who wanted to discourage aid for various reasons

TheDMshouldbeRivened Fri 18-Sep-09 20:01:26

I try and buy fair trade over organic.
But aid can sometimes flood the market and put local farmers out of business.
Thing is though, famine calls for immediate action as its a crisis and not something fair trade farming practices can prevent. Feel guilty that its probably the pollution from the rich world that has led to changing weather patterns.

TheDMshouldbeRivened Fri 18-Sep-09 20:02:49

being hungry during ramadan certainly makes you think. But we can eat come the evening. Imagine not having that luxury and knowing your children were starving sad

mumblecrumble Fri 18-Sep-09 20:03:51

yep. Article reckoned less rainfall each year. Am I awful to wonder about moving those people to somewhere less crappy to live? I know this is unrealistic. I just feel we are so powerless to help.

I just thought about rasiing some money. Maybe could do a sponsored fast, raise a few hundre. What the hell si that going to do for millions of dsperate families!??!?

What hapopende to make poverty history?

TheDMshouldbeRivened Fri 18-Sep-09 20:08:01

even doing a little bit could help. Sometimes i think its just so over whelming you think not to bother.
But everything helps. Raising money for the established charities (economy of scale), buying fair trade, writing to your MP and campiagning for fair working conditions and wages when multi-nationals move there to pay low wages and appalling working conditions they wouldn't get away with here. Campaign against climate change which will affect the poorest nations first (ironic given its our fault, not theirs)
Do what you can I think. We have so much here, even those of us who are classed as 'poor'.

neenz Fri 18-Sep-09 20:10:44


mumblecrumble Fri 18-Sep-09 20:30:19

Am doing a sposored fast in 2 weeks. If you'd lik to sponsor me, money will go to fair trade foundation.

sarah293 Fri 18-Sep-09 20:39:51

Message withdrawn

mumblecrumble Fri 18-Sep-09 20:53:02

only 24 hours. But I'm quite fat.... it will be a real challenge i think. WIll be a very hard day.

mumblecrumble Fri 18-Sep-09 20:54:05

daft really. I feel bad for no fasting for longer. But the point is to raise money rather than be liek a martyr o somthig.

I don';t know. Some people will think its daft I suppose. I don;t see any other way I canhelp.

junglist1 Fri 18-Sep-09 21:38:11

Why why why in this day and age are people starving to death? It makes me truly sick. The western world isn't civilised at all. Money comes before people on all levels, African lives are particularly worthless it seems. Did you know that drugs banned in Western countries are rebranded and tested on third world populations? That drug companies won't teach doctors how to make up a simple anti diorhea mixture out of sugar water and salt that could save 5 million children a year because it would decrease their profits? Never mind though they're just useless black bastards, nobody will give a crap eh angry

junglist1 Fri 18-Sep-09 21:40:22

This should be moved to in the news or chat? I don't know how to do it though

thehouseofmirth Fri 18-Sep-09 22:09:22

The thing is that we're all too bloody self-centred. We can blame the weather, governments and big business, all of whom are responsible but the fact is that we i.e individuals could actually stop people dying if we could be bothered. If you saw a child just about to run in front of a car you wouldn't stand there saying "How terrible! Someone should stop him." You'd just get on and help. All we need to do is donate as much money as we have. Can you really justify that new pair of shoes/holiday/big christmas tree when mothers are watching their starving babies die in their arms?

this is interesting.

I'm no better than anyone else on tis in fact worse because I keep thinking how awful it is but still do nothing. But we could, couldn't we? Instead of giving a whole load of meaningless crap this christmas we could do something amazing.

Mousey84 Fri 18-Sep-09 22:48:52

Not quite the same, but dont forget about The Hunger Site where you can donate the equiv £ to pay for a cup of food, just by clicking a button (its free and you can do it every day)

Mousey84 Fri 18-Sep-09 22:53:28

Good point mirth. I was browsing the WWF catalog this AM and wondering how many of my friends and relatives would be ok with a WWF or oxfam unwrapped thing for xmas. Think Ill suggest a no-gift xmas with the few that would be ok with it.

Thing is, theres all this scandal about the percentage of funds that actually get to those who need it.

Does anyone know of any charities/organisations where at least 90% of the money they receive actually gets to the people who need it?

neenz Fri 18-Sep-09 22:56:48

You could do something though - just give £10 a month to Christian Aid or Oxfam - whatever you can afford each month. Me and DH give 10% of our income after tax to charity - I just see it as not having earned it in the first place eg I earn £30k, well I see it as earning only £27k cos lots of people earn £27k and live just fine iyswim.

ilovemydogandmrobama Fri 18-Sep-09 22:57:00

I would happily donate money if it actually was received on the other side, or rather received by the people who needed it the most.

neenz Fri 18-Sep-09 22:58:53

But it's a bit like taxes - a lot of our taxes are spent on admin because it has to be to make the front line services work. Without the Oxfam CEO earning megabucks the money wouldn't ever get raised or get to where it is needed.

SomeGuy Sat 19-Sep-09 01:34:05

Ultimately it comes down to bad governance, corruption and conflict. Look what has happened in Zimbabwe, which exported vast amounts of food but can't even feed itself any more.

There are many problems in Africa, one statistic I heard is that more fertiliser is used on the golf courses of Florida than all of sub-saharan Africa. One reason for this is ideological, and where the Malawian government have implemented seed and fertiliser subsidies (against a background where fertiliser in Africa is the most expensive in the world), they have gone from famine to surplus.

Fertiliser subsidies were opposed by the West for commercial reasons - basically so that food produced in the West by people earning $100/day can compete with food in Africa produced on $1/day, even though Western agriculture is subsidised to a ludicrous extent (much of it through the EU).

In countries where subsistence farming is prevalent, land lying fallow through lack of funds to utilise it is a terrible waste.

It's an interesting discussion and a complex one too.

Kenya, for example, has such a disparity between wealthy and poor it is quite scary. Here in Nairobi there are people earning the same salaries as their counterparts in London. Yet one hour out of town there are people without food and water. We have broadband internet and mobile phone coverage that beats that of the UK, yet we can't feed a great deal of the nation.

As I sit here, my power has just gone off, we are on 3 days a week without power. I have no water in my house and haven't had since yesterday afternoon. I am lucky, I can go and buy water, most people can't.

The underlying issues in Kenya are all land related. Who owns it, who has rights to it, how it is managed and how it is abused. Throw in a drought (this year it is particularly bad) and you get a disaster.

If you felt strongly about poverty in Africa you could always take part in this event? Or organise your own.

junglist1 Sat 19-Sep-09 08:05:27

Good links here, thanks. Can you click as many times as you like on The Hunger Site? I also remember someting about a gift store where you can buy a goat for a family or something?

sarah293 Sat 19-Sep-09 08:38:13

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