Both Political Will, Foreign Assistance Critical To Address Underlying Causes Of Conflict, Humanitarian Crises

IRIN: Famine in Somalia: Twice in six years?
Daniel Maxwell, Henry J. Leir professor in food security at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and acting director of the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University, and colleagues

“…Humanitarian budgets have grown in recent years, but have not kept pace with the level of assessed need. The popular sentiment this year in the U.S. and some other countries appears to be ‘me first’ (‘and the rest of the world can take care of itself’). But people are moved to support others in extreme times, and such solidarity is sorely needed today. Without popular support, international humanitarian assistance will not be able to keep up with demand. Beyond the need for financial assistance in the short term, the longer-term need is the political will to address the underlying causes of the conflicts and other drivers of crisis. We know the magnitude and severity of the crisis facing Somalia and its likely consequences — as we do for South Sudan, Yemen, Nigeria, and other countries. But we also know how to prevent these crises. The time for action is now, and the timeframe for preventing widespread mortality is rapidly closing. Political solutions are required, but the need for resources is clear, as is the need for all parties to respect International Humanitarian Law and ensure that people have access to life-protecting assistance” (3/28).

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