Tag Archives: aid

presidential priorities.

#BLOTUS has to have time to relax, right? We all know he’s under immense pressure. Surely his time on the golf courses cannot be seen as a dereliction of his presidential duties,  After all, who wants a duffer for their leader, right?

On the other hand, another 32 million dollars in aid to Puerto Rico would surely demonstrate a compassionate and caring side of this pumpkin-hued moron that the world has never seen. But, to be fair, I guess that the world can never see what is not there.

South Sudan needs our help

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South Sudan is facing a hunger crisis. By the end of June there will be almost eight million in need of food as famine conditions increase.

Stop Hunger Now continues to work in South Sudan. Please help us provide desperately needed relief in this crisis situation.

severe hunger in South Sudan

Millions in South Sudan are at risk. This article reprinted here  from the Gurtong Trust tells the story. Stop Hunger Now continues it’s efforts in the village of Old Fangak in Jonglei State.

South Sudan Families Being Pushed To The Brink

Skyrocketing inflation, conflict and collapsed markets are pushing people in South Sudan to breaking point as the political deadlock enters its 16th month and families face a second lean season since fighting began, international agency Oxfam warned on Tuesday in a statement.

22 April 2015

By Jacob Achiek

JUBA, April 22, 2015 [Gurtong] – “What we are seeing now is families that have spent the past year and a half living on the edge many have exhausted their food stocks, been displaced from their homes, missed opportunities to plant and farm, and now the economy is showing the strain of a year and a half of conflict,” said Emma Drew, Head of Humanitarian Programmes for Oxfam in South Sudan.

Areas affected by the conflict are seeing drastic increases in food prices. In February, cereal prices were estimated to have shot up by 300% in Unity, Upper Nile, and Jonglei states.

The South Sudanese pound is also depreciating rapidly – while the official rate remains at 3.2 pounds to the US dollar, parallel market rates are as high as 7 pounds to the dollar which is fluctuating on a regular basis. This is increasing the cost of regional food imports and putting pressure on already stretched household budgets.

“Many people can no longer afford to buy food and other basic essentials; trade in markets has been disrupted, or in many instances, markets have been damaged or destroyed altogether,” said Ms. Drew.

Already, 2.5 million people are facing severe levels of hunger. By June, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) predicts that more than a million people will join them.
“As the rains set in, reaching people who are desperately in need of aid will become more and more difficult. It’s vital that aid reaches people not just in the camps on UN bases but the millions in need spread out across the country, especially in conflict affected states,” Ms. Drew said.

“It’s hard to describe just how difficult it is to provide humanitarian assistance here. Insecurity due to protracted fighting and poor roads mean that in many places agencies have to fly absolutely everything in, often to airstrips that are easily bogged down by mud and rain – so getting food and essential items in before the rains start is an urgent priority.”

Flexible funding remains key, especially in light of the need to adapt to the changing humanitarian context. In addition to the urgent food aid that will be needed to save lives, donors should also support programmes that develop people’s skills and resilience, and that build on or re-establish markets wherever possible.

While the UN appeal for aid in South Sudan has been over half funded, donors must swiftly deliver on the existing commitments. Regional and international governments should use their influence on the government of South Sudan and the opposition to ensure communities can access aid where they are.

“Aid is important and lifesaving but ultimately what people need most is an end to the conflict. A real, lasting peace that delivers genuine security and stability will require far more than a power sharing deal between political and military elites,” added Ms. Drew.

Regional leaders and the international community have an important role in helping communities and the country’s leaders to achieve a lasting peace. Complacency is not an option.

worth the effort

In my last post I focused on a couple of European proverbs that dealt with both how God provides and our responsibility. That morphed into a mini-rant on the flaws in our US welfare system.

A more familiar saying to most of us, and a response I hear on a regular basis when I teach about ending hunger in our lifetime, is

God helps them that help themselves.

We are told that this little nugget is a Biblical teaching pointing out that the poor are poor because they are to lazy to help themselves. And although there are some poor who are not as industrious as we think they should be, this proverb is just another traditional saying. It isn’t in the Bible.

Many would like to have the Bible to help justify not helping the poor among us, but this proverb is not a quote from the Bible. Look for yourself. It just isn’t there.

As I pointed out yesterday, there are some poor in the United States that have come to the place where they feel entitled to help. This comes from a flawed welfare system that rewards people for not exerting the effort to help themselves.

That doesn’t mean that the hungry in our country should not be helped. Hungry people need to be fed, wherever they are found. How can we tolerate over 40 million of our citizens going hungry on a regular basis?

What is needed is that we fix the broken system. That includes changing the law, It also means changing the values and lifestyles of those receiving aid.

Changes of this magnitude do not happen without tremendous effort and time, but I think it is worth the effort. Do you?