All too often the international community, or more specifically the former colonial powers, get blamed for interference, and for the destabilisation and disincentivisation of local initiative in these regions. And yet when children are dying, food and water need to be provided fast, it is often the international community which is best equipped for a rapid response. In Britain, we can be encouraged by the swift response from the Department for International Development, and it is my hope that governments of other nations respond as generously – especially countries of the African Union. They cannot vicariously leave it to Kenya and Ethiopia.
But this is not the only response, and not, ultimately, what is needed to secure a better future for the region. In Eastern Kenya, the people living in the most desperate need are often those outside of the refugee camps. They see the refugees inside benefiting from World Food Programme handouts, while outside they struggle to feed themselves and keep their goats and cattle alive. Despite the horrors of life inside the camps, there is real security there - the promise of food, water, and some medical care. Capacity to provide such shelter should be encouraged but we should not forget there is a real need to ensure for those living on the edge, who year after year must eke out an existence in those dry and barren landscapes, are not forgotten. It is also crucial that people get the support locally so that they don’t have to make such perilous journeys to get aid.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of York John Sentamu * Culture-Watch Dieting/Food/Nutrition Globalization * Economics, Politics Foreign Relations Politics in General * General Interest Weather * International News & Commentary Africa
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