Families are starving. Children are living in caves and eating leaves. Drought is creating impossible conditions for farmers. Tomorrow, on August 12, 2012, world leaders are meeting in London for a summit on undernutrition led by British Prime Minister David Cameron. As they meet, millions people face a future of hunger throughout the world.

A World Away

Sometimes it's easy to go about our daily lives without our thoughts ever leaving U.S. borders. It's a product of our lifestyle, in a way. We're focused on other (albeit important) things, that it leaves little time to address the latest humanitarian crisis, but the world is starving.

This year, the United Nations estimates that 18 million people face hunger in Mali, Niger, Senegal, and six other West African nations. (By contrast, roughly 3 million people were affected by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.) Even in the U.S., a summer drought may cause food prices to rise during the second half of this year.

Humanitarian Response Needed

Aid workers say slow-brewing crises like droughts rarely generate the level of news coverage and donations that earthquakes or tsunamis do, even when the number of people who need help is higher.

To fight hunger, aid agencies depend on donations from governments and the public in order to carry out its programs. Ertharin Cousin, the director of the UN World Food Programme, says:

"The Global Hunger Event comes at a time when the eyes of the world are focused on the pinnacle of human physical achievement at the London Olympics. For far too many children, a lack of food and nutrition means that, sadly, they will never have a chance to compete in life."

Get Involved

The following organizations support hunger relief throughout the world, and are focused on supporting the Sahel region of Africa.

  • To support the crisis with your social capital, join the petition at www.sahel2012.org.

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