Tag Archives: relief

Puerto Rico FEMA meals

This is an actual photo of a FEMA Meal Kit provided to Puerto Rican victims in the aftermath of their devastating hurricane, and is yet another travesty. When will our government begin to truly provide the necessary aid our citizens deserve?

I do not know about you, but canned chicken and Cheetos do not constitute and entree for me. And  candy bars don’t make the most nutritious dessert. It reminds me of when the government insisted that ketchup was a vegetable for school lunch menus.

What this actually amounts to is a shameful disregard for common morality. We should hold our officials to at least a minimum standard of decency. And this doesn’t meet it.

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.

Stop Hunger Now responds to India flooding

The following news brief is taken from a SHN staff memo:

Stop Hunger Now India Flood Response Continues

Stop Hunger Now India continues to provide relief to those affected by the severe flooding in Chennai. Executive Director Dola Mohapatra has issued an update on the response, as well as an appeal to donors for additional support. Here is an excerpt:

As an immediate response to this emergency situation, Stop Hunger Now India, in partnership with Treasure Life Foundation, Hope Foundation and Rural Relief Network/SAARP (as well as few other local NGOs and civic groups) has provided nearly 150,000 meals to over 5,000 families in Chennai and Cuddalore areas, including the cut-off pockets in rural Panchayats.

As you may have been seeing the news items across the TV channels, the situation is quite grave and we have been receiving SOS requests from a number of local groups.  The field teams responding to the current situation have requested immediate help for food packets, medical supplies, clothes etc.

We are gearing up to send 300,000meals for the affected families.  We also have received requests for mats, tarpaulins, water-filters, tents and bed sheets, water containers, warm clothes, school supplies for children etc.  We have a warehouse in Bangalore where these materials are being collected and the field team will be able to pick up all these once a truck load of materials are gathered.

a prayer for hungry mothers

Gracious God and glorious Creator, as we celebrate Mother’s Day and give thanks for the love and care provided by our mothers, we recognize that your love and your care sustains all of us, and even this planet we call home. We give you thanks for your presence in our lives and we thank you for all we have received from our mothers.

Yet, Lord, we know that even as we honor our mothers, there are millions of mothers who are not so blessed. Help us remember those mothers around the world this morning who face hardships and dangers we cannot begin to imagine. Be with mothers everywhere to lighten their burdens, provide relief from their worries and grant them rest from their unceasing labor.

We pray especially for all those impoverished mothers around the world who are stalked by the shadow of hunger of hunger, those mothers who live in constant fear of famine and must fight every day just to provide enough nourishment to keep their children alive. The love those mothers feel for their children is no less than the love our mothers had and have for us.

Be with hungry mothers and hungry children everywhere this morning. Help us honor them as we honor our own mothers. Let them feel your love, and let them be fed.  Amen.

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.

doing good without love

The most perplexing form of evil, and especially so for all idealists, is that kind of evil which comes out of our efforts to do good. Perhaps when we try to do good without love, we create evil. – William Irwin Thompson

Thompson is on to something. We can create evil by attempting to do good.

Much has been written in the past couple of years about bad relief efforts. Numerous books are now available on the negative impact of doing good in the wrong way. The positive in this is that those selfsame books also show us how to do good in a better way.

There’s a common thread that I perceive in all these new works on helping the poor and hungry. Charity can become toxic when it is not built on loving relationships and base in a real sense of community. Doing good has to be built around people, not on programs.

Relief efforts that deal with just the symptoms of poverty create more harm than good. A welfare system which encourages dependency entraps generations of poor into perpetuating lifestyles that eviscerate self respect and ambition, even as it creates a false sense of entitlement. Such a system creates evil.

Good intentions do not guarantee good results. I agree with Thompson on this point. The secret to accomplishing the good we seek is to love each other enough to know each other. It’s far easier said than done, yet the cost of doing good without love is far higher than we might imagine. And that cost is going up every day.