Friday, February 3, 2012

Somali Famine, Buddhism

UN declares Somali famine over but warns of risks
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The United Nations said Friday that Somalia's famine is over, but the world body's Food and Agricultural Organization warned that continued assistance is needed to stop the region from slipping back.
The world body moved the crisis from the top step of a five-point scale — based on the death rate — to the fourth step, formally reducing it from a "famine" to a "humanitarian emergency".
However, the U.N. said that 2.3 million people remain in a food crisis situation in Somalia and still need assistance. That represents 31 percent of the country's population. Across the Horn of Africa region the total is 9.5 million who need help.

The Practical Buddhist Responds

Pop quiz. Who's in the Superbowl?  (Giants and Patriots).  Who just endorsed Romney? (Donald Trump). Bet you knew. 

Where is Somalia? Did you know they had a level-five famine affecting 13 million people?  Did you know that thanks to a lot of outside help, only 2 million are still starving? Do you care? Did you help? Will you help now?
Buddhists are supposed to pay attention and be aware and use skillful means to relieve suffering. 

But that's not a Buddhist discovery. It's universally human.

No answers today, only questions for you and for me.  I’m going to a big Superbowl party on Sunday. There will be food and fellowship in abundance. Will Somalia intrude on my thoughts, even a little?