News / Africa

ONE Campaign Raises Awareness for Somali Famine

Group, co-founded by rock musician Bono, also supports programs that would help withstand drought

Women and children stand at the edge of an impromptu camp of internally displaced people that has sprung up near the airport, Mogadishu, July 27, 2011
Women and children stand at the edge of an impromptu camp of internally displaced people that has sprung up near the airport, Mogadishu, July 27, 2011
Julia Laurence

More than 12 million people are believed be at risk in the Horn of Africa and the advocacy group ONE wants to raise awareness of the crisis as a first step to action.

Kimberly Hunter, the U.S. press secretary for the group, said, "We’re not asking for your money, we’re asking for your voice. That’s really what the primary mission of our organization is: to be a kind of political force for the world’s poorest and be a voice for those who don’t have one in congress.”

Hunter says raising awareness of issues and getting the word out to its members is the group’s primary task.  The group’s website says it has two-and-a-half million members. The ONE campaign is concerned with helping to erase the United Nation’s $1 billion budget deficit and supporting programs to end hunger and poverty around the world.

Sheila Nix, the group’s U.S. executive director, said, "A lot of our members come from the faith community, or students, or returning veterans, or women, and those voices are really important for members of congress to hear from, especially from their local districts. So our ONE members have been very effective in working with some of our other partner groups to achieve some of these goals.”

Women and children queue to receive food at a World Food Program distribution center in Mogadishu.
Women and children queue to receive food at a World Food Program distribution center in Mogadishu.

And Nix adds that ONE also encourages programs that will help prevent future droughts.

“What we also point out," she said, "is in the long term, these situations can be prevented for the most part with some adequate investments in agriculture to help countries survive drought issues. You’ll even see that in Kenya and Ethiopia the situation is not as bad as it might have been because of investments in better agriculture practices and early warning systems and we’d like to make sure that, especially in these times of budget cuts, that those kind of programs don’t get cut.”

ONE is a strong supporter of a U.S. initiative to address hunger and poverty called Feed the Future, which was launched in May 2010.  Nix and the head of the World Food Program, Josette Sheeran, recently joined the head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Dr. Raj Shah, in a conference call with ONE members.

“We are embarking on a long term strategy," explained Shah, "where President Obama in 2009, together with world leaders at the G20, announced a major effort - Feed the Future -  to make sure that we invested in agriculture and the long term solutions to these types of famines and food riots.  It’s important that the world lives up to those commitments.”

While the voice a ONE’s co-founder Bono is important in getting the word out, Nix says it is its members that have become a fighting voice advocating for people in Somalia and elsewhere in the Horn of Africa as the drought worsens. Nix believes the voices of the group prove that efforts to raise awareness about the famine are just as important and effective as efforts to raise money.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid