Reader’s Letter: Help for the African Horn

POSTED: 07/22/11 12:32 PM

Dear Editor,

At this very moment a catastrophe of devastating proportions is occurring in the region known as the Horn of Africa which comprises the countries Somalia, Ethiopia and the northern part of Kenya. There has been no rain for almost four years and hundreds of thousands of persons are so undernourished that they can succumb at any moment from hunger. In fact thousands of people are dying every day right now, especially young children. It is a horrendous situation.

The United Nations has estimated that about 200 million British Pounds is needed immediately to alleviate the most urgent needs of the population. The United States and some European Countries have started to give help. The Dutch government will help.

The Netherlands has a budget of 5 billion euro for development aid and some of these funds will be shifted to this region to help with the development of structural solutions so that catastrophes like this one will not occur again in the future. The Dutch population is organizing all kinds of actions to raise funds to provide immediate aid. This is one aspect of Dutch culture that I have always respected very much and I think that they can be an example for us here in Saint Martin (us and our Northern compatriots).

I am going to ask our Red Cross to open an account for help for these nations. If everyone who possibly can just deposits a few dollars into this account and everyone around the world does this we shall be able to prevent hundreds of thousands of men, women and children dying of hunger in the coming months. Our Red Cross has strong ties with the Red Cross of the Netherlands and I’m sure they can work together. The Netherlands has such a set up. A national bank account number is available for donations in that country.

Please everyone, just a few dollars. That is all that is needed to help. Please, please help!

Neville de Weever

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