Monday, November 21, 2011

Second Lady Jill Biden Lends Her Voice to End Hunger

This past Sunday, Nov. 20, marked the fourth month since famine was declared in Somalia and people are still dying from hunger, many of them children. More than 13 million people in the Horn of Africa are affected and that number will surely increase.

Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden told a group gathered for Bread for the World's annual New York gala last week that she asked herself what she could do to help. A few days after asking herself this question, she arrived at the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, where she met desperate mothers who had walked for days hoping to find food for their starving children.

“I spent time with a mother who had walked for 15 days with her four malnourished children. Her baby was sick with diarrhea, an ailment which seems minor to us, but in this circumstance is often fatal,” said Biden. “Like many of the women in the camps, this mother had walked day and night, through very dangerous conditions to try to save her children.”

She told the group of 200 attendees that for nearly 40 years, Bread for the World has viewed ending global hunger as a "moral imperative."

“Our faith tells us that we must give food to the hungry, water to the thirsty, and shelter to the poor. That commitment to the most vulnerable among us is grounded in our belief that every human being deserves to be treated with dignity,” said Biden. “The crucially important work of Bread for the World recognizes that dignity and strives to preserve it – especially in the most dire situations.”

We must urge the U.S. government to continue to support humanitarian efforts in the Horn of Africa. According to the Famine Early Warning System Network, Somalia can expect another month of famine. That’s another month when children will die needlessly.


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