Toronto, Aug 5, 2011–I was on a call with our Country Representative in Ethiopia recently, and it seems the rains have come to the central and western regions of Ethiopia. Crops are growing and communities are “doing fine” at this time in these regions. Yet on the other side of the country, in the south and east of Ethiopia, drought has fully set in.
Next door in Somalia, the famine is officially declared to be spreading after months of warnings by local aid agencies and the UN – seemingly to no avail. Good to know that the Canadian Government East Africa Relief Fund is underway to help raise much needed dollars for short-term relief.
In the call with our Country Rep, he mentions a piece on the local television just last week about foreign journalists in Mogadishu being invited in to see huge warehouses beautifully stacked with three months’ worth of food – while people are starving just down the road.
When asked why the food was not being distributed, those running the warehouse said something along the lines of “the government has not told us to do so.”
We continue to work closely with our community partners in Ethiopia and Uganda to address the impact of rising fuel and food costs, to help build community capacity against future disasters, and to reiterate our commitment to long-term sustainable development projects.
Relief, recovery, then development. Kudos to Canadians across the country who are responding with such heart and compassion not just for today – but for tomorrow as well.