While browsing the National Archives, we found a 10 step plan to prevent third world hunger emergencies in declassified US documents. The plan was dated July 9, 1984. More than 30 years later, most of the wealthy world watches while millions are about starve to death. What can we do? Here’s our rough paraphrase of what the plan said to do:
1) Preposition grain in selected third world areas for immediate distribution in a starvation situation.
2) Establish a $50 million presidential fund to permit timely response to food emergencies.
3) Spread out the cost of ocean freight for emergency food shippments in some cases.
4) Pay in-country food distribution costs for the poorest countries.
5) Refine methods for better estimates of Third World emergency food needs.
6) Form an inter-agency emergency food needs work group do you consider how to coordinate with other donor countries and deal with transportation bottlenecks.
7) Increase US and foreign awareness of US food aid programs and the nature of the Third World hunger situation.
8) Form a State Department subcommittee to allow business leaders to explain problems and offer solutions.
9) Continue to study the problem and solutions and recommend new actions.
10) Consider having high-level donor meetings or similar meaures in coordinating with other countries.
What became of this plan? Why are we still at a point where an estimated 20+ million in four countries will starve to death?
This year could be the most deadly from famine in three decades. The lives of more than 20 million people are at risk in four countries. Large areas of South Sudan have already been declared a famine zone. Five years after a famine that claimed about 250,000 lives, Somalia is back on the brink of catastrophe – 6 million people are in need of assistance. Both northeastern Nigeria and Yemen face real and present risks of famine.
…. Conflict, drought, poor governance and a shockingly inadequate international response have all played a part.
… The UN estimates that US$5.6 billion is needed to address urgent needs.
It would be a great world with less suffering and desperation if all humans cared about and did their best for all other humans, but that’s not the reality. In truth, many will read this and will think things like:
Not my problem.
Why should they get free help from the rest of the world?
I had to work for my money.
Why don’t they just organize and all work together to build the resources their country needs to survive?”
Irregardless of those who do not care, those who do care continue to do what they can to help.
Our contribution is to raise awareness of the problem and to offer one possible long term solution: Invest in expanding the solar energy plants near the Sahara desert. Use the new energy to desalinate and decontaminate ocean water. Build green houses and use the water to grow food. Get everyone working together. Build schools and educate people. With a new healthy, educated, population, create factories to build robots to clean up Fukushima and the rest of our trash in the world.
If you feel some responsibility to poorest humans on earth, do what you can to help. Even sharing this with one other friend is of use.