Opinion » Columnists
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Forgotten corners of the world: Eritrea and Somalia

They simply request the right to survive

While the international circus is concentrating on Iraq, where George Bush has wasted hundreds of billions of dollars of his tax-payers' money spreading freedom and democracy and winning hearts and minds by slaughtering tens of thousands of innocent people, due south and just to the west of Iraq, on the Horn of Africa, a major humanitarian crisis affecting millions of people continues almost unnoticed, one of the forgotten corners of the world.

In Eritrea, around a quarter of the population is dependent on food aid and the United Nations Organization has warned that the international community must continue its levels of support, otherwise the existence of around one million people will be at risk.

900,000 people in Eritrea are suffering the consequences of a four-year drought and/or war and in some areas, according to UN reports, the malnutrition rate is as high as 19% of the population. The crop has again failed this year, compounding the problems.

In international emergency terms, a malnutrition rate of 15% is classified as an emergency, therefore where are the stories in the international press? On top of this, UN statistics point towards a calamitous situation in the near future, since 66% of the entire population is unable to meet the requirements of its daily food intake, although as yet they are not classified as suffering from malnutrition.

In Somalia, to the East of Eritrea, a major humanitarian crisis is on-going due to a long-lasting drought and cycles of endemic poverty, which destroy the fabric of society. Jan Egeland, UN Emergency relief Coordinator, has requested the international community to pay more attention to the situation within this country, forgotten in the wake of Bush's illegal wars.

Somalia and Eritrea, invading the comfortable crystal-ball world of those who like to read filtered news by proxy providers. We apologize for being so disturbing, but there is a humanitarian crisis in these countries and millions of people need help.

They do not wish to be bombed, they do not wish to be invaded, they simply request the right to survive.

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