Two decades ago, the world watched in horror as Rwanda was pulled apart by a brutal genocide. The international community, burned by a failed intervention in Somalia and distracted by events elsewhere, failed to intervene to stop the killing. Led by the US and supported by Britain, the UN Security Council refused to deploy a stronger peacekeeping force. By the time it was galvanised into action, an estimated 800,000 people were dead.
I visited Rwanda shortly after the genocide and saw the consequences of that inaction: children orphaned and traumatised by the country’s paroxysm of violence, their parents and siblings murdered in front of them.… Seguir leyendo »
Pictures of dead children, laid out in lines, on the floor have shocked the world.
Almost simultaneously, the news came that the number of children fleeing the country had reached one million in what has become the worse refugee crisis in two decades.
I recently met some of those children in the border between Lebanon and Syria. Many arrive by foot carrying only a bundle of clothes after being forced to flee in the cover of darkness to avoid sniper fire and shelling. They are hungry, exhausted and have harrowing stories to tell.
A little girl told me how she saw her mother being killed in front of her.… Seguir leyendo »
I am glad that, amid all the wonderful celebration of sporting achievement, world leaders have been able to use the London games as an opportunity to think about helping children who are without the most basic means of building a productive life: adequate, nutritious food.
As those who attended the prime minister’s hunger summit at Downing Street on Sunday know only too well, malnutrition is the achilles heel of development. While immense progress has been made on other fronts in the past decade – with millions more children in school and rates of child mortality falling rapidly – progress on malnutrition remains stubbornly slow.… Seguir leyendo »
Rains have failed. Crop production has been wiped out. Families cannot feed themselves. Soon familiar images of skeletal babies will flicker on TV screens. The British public will be asked to respond with their usual generosity and that, together with government aid, will save thousands of lives — although others will be lost. Then the world will move on until somewhere, probably in Africa, it will happen again.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
A hunger crisis is brewing in Niger, one of Africa’s poorest countries. Millions will be left without enough food this summer. The early-warning systems have sounded and the British Government has sent £25 million to the region.… Seguir leyendo »