04 September 2011

NGO Honesty: MSF on HoA Crisis

 Has somebody been reading Tales From The Hood? From The Guardian:
The international president of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Dr Unni Karunakara, returned from Somalia last week and said that, even though there was chronic malnutrition and drought across east Africa, hardly any agencies were able to work inside war-torn Somalia, where the picture was "profoundly distressing". He condemned other organisations and the media for "glossing over" the reality in order to convince people that simply giving money for food was the answer.

According to Karunakara, agencies have been able to provide medical and nutritional care for tens of thousands in camps in Kenya and Ethiopia, which have been receiving huge numbers of refugees from Somalia. But trying to access those in the "epicentre" of the disaster has been slow and difficult. "We may have to live with the reality that we may never be able to reach the communities most in need of help," he said.

Karunakara said that the use of phrases such as "famine in the Horn of Africa" or "worst drought in 60 years" obscured the "man-made" factors that had created the crisis and wrongly implied that the solution was simply to find the money to ship enough food to the region.
It appears that J's wish has come true to some extent with this honesty from MSF. Any chance that other NGOs will agree and change their message?

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