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NEWS: 2.5 Million May Starve in Niger

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posted on Jul, 24 2005 @ 06:32 PM
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I was going to say something to last few responses, especially spliff's but intrepid said keep it clean. So I'll just post these few BBC articles instead. No message, just make of it what you will.

news.bbc.co.uk...

news.bbc.co.uk...

news.bbc.co.uk...




posted on Jul, 30 2005 @ 02:02 PM
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This is an interesting view into the crisis.

Link

This economist says that Niger's perennial problems could be easier to deal with if it weren't for the constant reliance on foreign aid. It's well worth the read in my opinion, because it explains, in some depth, the variety of challenges countries like Niger face.

Niger isn't plagued by warlords like many African nations, and it isn't in the grips of civil war, but still, starvation is a very real danger. Why? Well, this article seeks to answer that question, and I think it does a pretty good job.

Check it out, it may change your perception of the problem, and help us find some new solutions.



posted on Jul, 30 2005 @ 02:06 PM
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Pretty good article,especially this mention:


"They forget about getting their own people working to solve these very basic problems. In Africa, we look to outsiders to solve our problems, making the victim not take responsibility to change."


Goes with what I have been saying and asking all along, has it not?
Accountability and responsibility....
Good article.





seekerof



posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 05:49 PM
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I'd like to bump this back up since it seems we've forgotten about it. I just saw some more images of starving children on the nightly news and thought about what was being said in this thread. It just PISSES me off to no end that there's scum out there that just dismisses that suffering and say to hell with them. Children are starving, but it's their own fault right? We should do nothing with our massive infrustructure and resources. Not even lift a finger.

Yeah just sit back and say "they should educate themselves" and "They should stop giving their food to the warlords". Ignore the fact that Niger has been through a FAMINE, and their problems are caused my nature, not by...whatever you think it is...being lazy and primitive. Sit back and say "why can't they be more like us?", "why can't they work and help themselves" as if YOU personally had anything to do with making the country what it is today.

When you see pictures of those starving children, who we are perfectly capable of helping, just turn your head and say "it's their problem, it's their fault".




posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 06:19 PM
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I remember when I was little, and I didn't finish the food on my plate, my mother would say things like "Millions of people are starving in Africa, you should never waste food." The response I composed in my head was invariably the same, "What, are you gonna send them the rest of my mashed potatoes and vegetable medley?"

It's not as if we do nothing, we contribute more money in aid than most other nations combined. The problem is, it's a never-ending downward spiral. The situation in sub-Saharan Africa is not going to get better, period. Desertification is the harsh reality, the primary cause, not apathy. Unless we irrigate the entire country, donate free seed, fertilizer, farm machinery, and maintenance crews, the people in that part of the world are always going to be behind the 8 ball everytime natural disaster strikes, since they can barely make ends meet at the best of times.

Aid has been increased, and is being deployed, so hopefully some positive headway will be made.

Still though, millions of children starve to death every year, and yes, sometimes I do throw out extra mashed potatos. I don't feel for them as much as some purport to, because I don't take death seriously, and because empathy is a phenomenon between individuals, you simply cannot empathize with a million people, it's impossible. I don't think this makes me a bad person, and it certainly doesn't make me a saint, it just makes me human.

Incidentally, If I was a parent, living in a dust bowl, barely able to feed myself, I would not, under any circumstances, continue to produce children, just so I could watch them wither and die on my doorstep. I just wouldn't do it.

Now, telling people not to breed is like telling people not to breathe, I understand, but when animals don't have the resources to care for potential offspring, they don't breed, pure and simple. Humans need to take some notes from the animals in this case.

It's a complicated problem, but no amount of condemnation will solve it. They need food and infrastructure, not rhetoric. So if you have a burning desire to help, do so, it really is that simple. I had a chance to go to Rwanda, and after much soul searching, turned down the oppurtunity to join a mission there. Why? Because I'm cold and heartles? Maybe. Because I'm practical to a fault? Definitely.

I barely get myself through every year, how the hell am I expected to take responsibility for several million Africans? This is the prevailing opinion, and it's not always overly selfish, sometimes it's just selfish enough.

I think this is perhaps a job for all these American suburban women with too much time and money on their hands. Let them go to Africa and dig irrigation ditches, instead of sitting around the house watching television, re-arranging furniture, and contemplating window treatments.



posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 06:37 PM
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Well WyrdeOne, there's not really much I can say to that. If you think that's just way it has to be, so be it. At least your honest about it. Call me an idealist....that's what I am. I don't think that's a bad thing.


I'm not talking about people taking individual reponsibility for helping starving Africans. I know that's not practical for most people (definately not me). My anger is directed towards those who sit back and put the blame on the people themselves. As if they had something to do with the drought, desertification, and resultant famine. Then they start lumping all of Africa together and talking about machete massacres, laziness, and warlords being the cause of the Niger famine. I can feel the sheer disdain for the entire continent and it disturbs me.

As to the solution, I'm sure it would help if they didn't have so many children or whatever, but that's kind of a moot point. The children are already born and they're suffering NOW. Who deserves that kind of fate? You know as well as I that it wouldn't take much money to relieve that hunger, at least temporarily. Especially if the world pitched in (though I'd like to see the French take more of a lead because it's their former colony). Stabilize the country now, and THEN we can talk about a long term fix. Maybe the aid deal that came out of the G8 summit is a nice start.





[edit on 8/4/2005 by Flinx]



posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 06:42 PM
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Originally posted by Flinx
I'm not talking about people taking individual reponsibility for helping starving Africans. I know that's not practical for most people (definately not me). My anger is directed towards those who sit back and put the blame on the people themselves. As if they had something to do with the drought, desertification, and resultant famine. Then they start lumping all of Africa together and talking about machete massacres, laziness, and warlords being the cause of the Niger famine. I can feel the sheer disdain for the entire continent and it disturbs me.


Flinx, your anger is well placed if indeed some are pointing fingers at the people as the cause of their problem. I do think that some of us are merely pointing out the obvious, and that would be not the people themsleves, but those African governments.




seekerof



posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 06:55 PM
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Originally posted by Seekerof
Flinx, your anger is well placed if indeed some are pointing fingers at the people as the cause of their problem. I do think that some of us are merely pointing out the obvious, and that would be not the people themsleves, but those African governments.


I need to do some more research, but from what I can see Niger's government is one of the more responsible and stable in Africa. There's been some serious economic and government reform since 2000.

en.wikipedia.org...

I think this may just be a case of very bad luck. It looks like they were just starting getting on their feet when this enviromental trouble hit.



posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 07:21 PM
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Well WyrdeOne, there's not really much I can say to that. If you think that's just way it has to be, so be it. At least your honest about it. Call me an idealist....that's what I am. I don't think that's a bad thing.


I don't think it's the way things have to be, I just know that's the way things are right now. There's always the chance that human beings will change for the better, and start taking care of one another despite racial/ethnic/religious differences. I look forward to that day, but it hasn't dawned yet, yaknow?

Being an idealist is not a bad thing, most certainly not. It's just a thing, like any other. I appreciate where you're coming from, and indeed I hope one day people like yourself will represent the majority.



I'm not talking about people taking individual reponsibility for helping starving Africans. I know that's not practical for most people (definately not me). My anger is directed towards those who sit back and put the blame on the people themselves. As if they had something to do with the drought, desertification, and resultant famine. Then they start lumping all of Africa together and talking about machete massacres, laziness, and warlords being the cause of the Niger famine. I can feel the sheer disdain for the entire continent and it disturbs me.


I know just what you mean. It is disturbing, and it is the ugly head of racism rearing up. Laziness certainly has nothing to do with it. If nothing else, it's a simple case of bad luck.



As to the solution, I'm sure it would help if they didn't have so many children or whatever, but that's kind of a moot point. The children are already born and they're suffering NOW. Who deserves that kind of fate?


I know it sounds flippant, but we all get what we deserve. Here's my logic: death is the most pleasurable experience of your life. So, in fact, no amount of suffering in life can hold a candle to the bliss we all experience upon death (the rush of brain chemicals, millions of times more pleasurable than heroin).

Religions have been getting rich, for thousands of years, selling back to us that which was given freely. We all go to Heaven, if only for an instant.



You know as well as I that it wouldn't take much money to relieve that hunger, at least temporarily.


Definitely. It's ridiculous the amount of good a dollar can do over there, compared to here. Here, a dollar gets me a packet of peanuts. There, a dollar feeds a whole family for a day or more. If you can manage to get your extra dollars to a place where they'll do more good, and you can afford to do so, there's no reason not to.

The best way to help is to actually help, giving money to others, like charities, is a losing battle. Between administration costs and theft, the money gets reduced at every stage of the process.

I know a philanthropist, hailing from MA, who is now in Africa (Kenya I think) supervising the drilling of wells and the irrigation of fields. He's putting up the money, and making sure it does what he wants it to do. He's taking charge, and doing what he can to help those people less fortunate than he. I think he's setting a good example, an example that should be followed by other rich men.

The problem with wealth is that you can have too much, just like anything else. After a certain point, it becomes ludicrous, more money than you could spend in a lifetime, or a hundred lifetimes, what good does that do, besides feeding our selfish pride, sparking delusions of grandeur?

I also think celebrities should do more. As it is, they are all over the televisions telling us to give, but they still spend millions of dollars on foolish things like flowers and designer clothing/jewelry. They should lead by example, lead austere lives, instead of jet-setting around the world in their private planes, while encouraging blue collar folks to donate to thieving charities like the Red Cross. That's just bold-faced hypocrisy.



posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 09:41 PM
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Well WyrdeOne, your take on mortality is pretty morbid.
You're probably right, but I hope your wrong. I certainly hope there's something to look forward to in death besides a brief rush of endorphins then oblivion *shivers*. I'm not so sure about that and I don't plan on testing that theory for as long as possible!

Speaking of celebrities, whatever happened with that Live 8 thing? Where is that money supposed to be going exactly?



posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 11:53 PM
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Wyrde_One Way Above Thank You for bringing this to ATS,

Really dont wont to comment on it, read and seen too much already, but have too... may get flamed or whatever for this but too be honest I dont really care, this is More Important,



Almost eight million people in West Africa are at risk of severe hunger unless they receive urgent aid.


AND:



As many as 150,000 malnourished children are close to death in Niger, which has been worst hit by the crisis. It is feared as many as one in 10 children in the worst affected areas in Niger may starve to death without immediate assistance.

Red Cross

Thats CHILDREN for f**ck sake, no excuses from anyone about corrupt government or bad government. They are innocent, children dying now... eating fu**ing grass NOW, in a democracy that has done as much as it could to placate and bend to the Wests wish. And one year ago I as well many people, and im sure the Governments knew with their satellites and their World Fact Books, that the seeds of this were sown in a drought LAST YEAR. Murdering Paid White Collar !!!!s .



“It was very clear from October last year. We monitor this region very closely due to its vulnerability. The warnings were given very early,” says Jean Senahoun, of Global Information and Early Warning System in Rome, a part of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.

New Scientist

Look at this child:



I DOUBT VERY MUCH THAT HE IS STILL ALIVE.

What did that child do? Innocent and we all let it happen again, have a few concerts and then worry about our security.....

Whats this child done? the one clutching his brother whilst dying of malutrition, whilst a full market of food is probably within 10 miles....but because the Democratic Government (not quite but nearly a beacon of democracy in Africa) did as requested by the International Community mass privatisations etc etc, the econmony was new and just getting grounded. They did everything they could. But then drought and also conditional aid, took this country over the edge... They are innocent Human beings like you and me suffering and dying now, but on a massive if unprecedented scale.



And our governments knew about it but didnt give a sh*t again. And Again. And Again. Human life is cheap if you live in some parts of the world. These people just need money to buy food, because their economy and government is now set up on a Democratic/Capitilist Model.

And if ANYONE says that the guys in the market should give them food etc....WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU WALKED PASSED A HOLMLESS PERSON? and probably like I have ignored them....????

The above I believe also puts to bed the Idea of many Conservative Capitilistic Models of thinking, we should all be very carefull here as we are all In The West complicit on spreading this model around the world! I think maybe a free trade economy, with large public investment would work better in this case. In fact maybe that model (if it is to be assumed that as in this actual case no outside assistance was given) would have saved Millions of lives. MILLIONS OF LIVES.

What is good also here as I am doing very much now, earlier today... is too spend more time working and give a bit to these guys, there just like you and me... they had no choice in where they were born....OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS.... soo please if you can even if its only a $1 give what you can... and change the reality of HELL for these people into HOPE.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK

NO I MEAN NO THOUGHTS ABOUT MISSUSE OF FUNDS WITH THIS ORGANISATION....NONE dont even go there please!

so if you can please give now just if its all you can a $

IM so annoyed this was predicted and comes after Make Poverty History

MischeviouslyDepressed.

Elf





ENOUGH!!!!




Front page of



posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 02:08 AM
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Ninety percent of Africa’s problems are self inflicted. No amount of money will solve Africa’s problems why should the tax payer fund a corrrupt politicans new house?
If we take measures to improve people quality of life we will not only help the people in need the lessons will be passed on to future generations. Just think how much differnce a water supply, chicken coop and the ablity to make hay would make.
Dose anybody care that people are starving in Africa?
Probaly not I dont know anyone who gives a second thought to Africa and its people. When Africa becomes the next hotbed of terrorism and the next middle east in terms of natuarly resouces, people will sit up and take notice. Of course by then it will be to late.

If the world gave a toss about Africa people quality of life would improve 10 fold within a generation.



posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 02:30 AM
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xpert
The fact remains Niger would have enough food if it weren't for a plague of locusts and a severe dry spell.

They were slammed by weather, a plague of locusts, and now starvation.

If you can explain how to bring a plague of locusts on yourself, I'd like to learn that, if only for the sake of erudition.



posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 02:49 AM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne
xpert
The fact remains Niger would have enough food if it weren't for a plague of locusts and a severe dry spell.


The weather helps account for the other 10% of Arficas problems.


If you can explain how to bring a plague of locusts on yourself, I'd like to learn that, if only for the sake of erudition.



While the government coundnt prevent the plague of locusts the means could have been in place to limted the disater.
You dont suppose that if corrupation didnt rule the day that the Nigerian government would have the means to supply food to the popuation and perhaps improve farming methods.



posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 02:52 AM
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Not sure about the rules here at ATS, but can't someone send ATS concerns to the President? America and Canada are not countries that look the other way or am I being naive?

Dallas



posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 04:11 AM
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xpert


While the government coundnt prevent the plague of locusts the means could have been in place to limted the disater.


Like what? All governments are corrupt to a certain degree, but by all accounts Niger was better off than most. Do you have evidence of their corruption, or are you just assuming? Remember, rhetoric does not affect positive change, whereas information is power, and power can be used to accomplish anything.



You dont suppose that if corrupation didnt rule the day that the Nigerian government would have the means to supply food to the popuation and perhaps improve farming methods.


The Government appears to have done a fine job of pulling itself out of the ashes like a proper phoenix. Check out this Link



Niger, a semi-arid, landlocked country in the heart of West Africa, has recently entered a period of political promise and economic opportunity.

On the political front, a transition government turned over power to a democratically elected president and legislature in December 1999, after two rounds of free and fair elections. The government of Mamadou Tandja will complete its five-year term in 2004. Local, decentralized elections are expected to be held in early 2004; legislative and presidential elections are expected in the latter part of the year. On the economic front, the country's macroeconomic policies, particularly the privatization of dormant parastatals, have been widely praised by international financial institutions and donors. After several years of political instability in the 1990s, the Tandja government has embarked upon an ambitious program to confront and address the many development challenges facing the country.


Now, it strikes me as odd that we reduced their aid package after they installed a Democratic government using free and fair elections in 1999. Talk about punishing good behavior...

And no matter how much the international community helps with dollars, they are paying workers a pittance in exchange for a wealth of natural resources, including Uranium, Gold, and other metals such as tin. One of the phrases used often is 'exploitable' when referencing Niger's natural resources. Too true, eh?
infotut.com...

As for agriculture...

According to this Link Niger has less than 4% arrable land!

This has been decreasing for some time, since the great rift opened, and drove the monkeys out of the forest, you know, the monkeys that became men and colonized the globe? This place has been steadily dying since before the birth of human consciousness.

Saying that 90% of Niger's problems are caused by the citizens of that country is incorrect, plain and simple.

Dallas
Want to help? Download plans for a hand-cranked peanut sheller, and donate it to a farmer in Niger. It might cost you a few bucks, but it could mean a lot to someone living on the verge of starvation, actually, it could mean a living for thousands of people, the thing cranks out like 50kg an hour or something.
www.peanutsheller.org...

Edited twice, because I edit posts like Jack the Ripper entertains himself..messily.


[edit on 5-8-2005 by WyrdeOne]

[edit on 5-8-2005 by WyrdeOne]



posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 04:27 AM
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I'll just assume your serious. I will try to find one through the internet, as I'm sure we don't have manual peanut shellers here.
EDIT: I'll try to find a few.

[edit on 5-8-2005 by Dallas]



posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 04:32 AM
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Dallas
I'm totally serious, I even provided a link to the plans.


Here it is again: www.peanutsheller.org...



posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 05:30 AM
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I havnt been able to find exact figuers for Niger but heres a telling statment.


Commenting on these proposals, Thompson Ayodele, Director, Institute of Public Policy Analysis in Lagos, Nigeria (IPPA), said: “The resources needed for development in Africa can be generated within the continent. From 1970 to 2000 Africa received about US$400 billion in aid. Africa has got enough financial help from overseas. Africa’s lack of development clearly does not stem from lack of funds. More foreign aid will not eliminate poverty and launch African countries to productivity and growth.”
www.smokersclubinc.com...


Now I realize Niger has only received a fraction of the 400 billon dollars but surely after 30 years they would have more to show for it?




Not until 1993, 33 years after independence from France, did Niger hold its first free and open elections. A 1995 peace accord ended a five-year Tuareg insurgency in the north. Coups in 1996 and 1999 were followed by the creation of a National Reconciliation Council that effected a transition to civilian rule by December 1999


While democracy is a postive step you have to question how stable the government is. Now the insurgenys choose to rebel against the government so any damage they caused to Niger is there own doing.


Nearly half of the government's budget is derived from foreign donor resources. Future growth may be sustained by exploitation of oil, gold, coal, and other mineral resources.

www.cia.gov...

Future growth ? No doubt there were other poltical problems before the insurgency still you would think over a period of 30 years it would have occured to someone that the opportunity presented itself to tap the oil.
So far only oil companys have been the people to benfit from Nigers oil.

I can understand why Niger would use companys to maintain the equipment but why arent the oil refines state owned?
I am a fan of the free market econmy one must bear in mind that western econmys have the infrastructure in place that is needed for basic governce.

I have yet to see and evidence that proves that the current government of Niger will provide long term stablity and be any less corrupt. Sadly after 30 years corruption just dosnt magically dissapear.



posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 05:44 AM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne
Dallas
I'm totally serious, I even provided a link to the plans.


Here it is again: www.peanutsheller.org...


While I havnt taken a close look at the peanut sheller it appears to be just the kind of device the people of Africa need. If anyone has any ideas they want to bouch off me concerning fund rasing for such devices or simila topics that fall beyond the scope of this thread feel free to U2 me. Personaly I find the topics very interesting.



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