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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid