Starving in Somalia

Over the next couple months, millions of Americans will enjoy holiday meals with friends and family. Many of us will eat too much and promise to cut back. Even in our midst, millions will go hungry, a tragedy that has grown in importance and impact over the recession. But nothing comes close to the tragedy that has unfolded in Somalia and the Horn of Africa where starvation is destroying a nation’s health, killing its children and vulnerable populations, and causing perhaps irreparable damage to its soul. More than 1.8 million people in Somalia alone are displaced and unable to meet their daily needs for sustenance.  Yet, tragedy fatigue seems to pervade not just the news media but many of us as we contemplate one more really horrible international situation. We may look at its scale and feel helpless and hopeless. At our School, we asked the question: what can we do?  This video addresses that fundamental question, with clear background about what caused the problem and an assessment of the role of human rights in helping all of us respond to this crisis and others like it. As Assistant Professor Ben Meier, JD, LLM, PhD says in the video, “Human rights speaks to another kind of national responsibility.” He, Professor Peggy Bentley, PhD, Professor Bereket Selassie, PhD, Mamie Harris, MPH, MS, and others put the tragedy into perspective and help us see what we can do. Check it out. Do something.

Have a good week. Barbara

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