I find it difficult to believe that the entire world is in shock over the famine in Eastern Africa right now. The signs were there long before the United Nations had to declare a famine. I can understand how most of the public would not know much about it because North American and Western media have been fairly mute about the whole thing until now.
Even last year there were food shortages in parts of Africa, and with the change in climate things have been getting worse and worse every year. It was just a matter of time before a full blown famine happened. Now governments are scrambling to put on a show of support for the victims but falling short on real results, which really if you look at the history of Western aid to Africa, be it humanitarian or military, it has always been slow in coming and almost always too little too late. Instead the burden usually falls on donations from everyday folks like you and me who make a donation to help through a church group or some other charity.
I understand we are talking about Africa and all we ever hear in the news about Africa is famine, civil war, genocide, epidemic and a list of other negative stories but that’s because, unlike the Middle East, which our governments have a vested interest in keeping stable because of oil interests, or Asia who we depend on for our consumer fix, we don’t get a lot from Africa in the way of consumables compared to other parts of the globe. Instead, western pharmaceutical companies make small fortunes on drug sales or the illegal arms industry that keep the civil wars going. If I am coming across as a little more cynical than usual, it’s because the west has failed to meet its obligations to helping the people of this continent.
When the Rwandan genocide happened and our small band of brave UN soldiers under the command of Canada’s own General Romeo Dallaire was left to fail, it showed that the West has no real interest in a real humanitarian role in Africa. It is sad that the Western powers do not see the people of the African continent as equal to the rest of the world. It is sad that we will spend billions of dollars to bomb a nation, but then we come up short on food and aid to keep people from starving to death. We waste more food in a day than what most of those people will see in a life time yet our governments can’t seem to find enough aid to help.
Maybe the people in the famine affected areas should have picked up an AK-47 and started shooting at their government while calling for democracy, then NATO would have sent in cargo planes full of aid because now it was about a mission they could get behind, but that’s not what happened, so here we are spending 500 to 800 million dollars on a new roof for BC place, but the Government of Canada can only come up with 50 million for aid? The Harper Government spent 26 million for a 3 month ad campaign when they were trying to sell their Economic Action Plan. I guess Africa is just not a priority.