AFRICOM and the “War On Terror”

This past December, Rageh Omaar from Al Jazeera did an extremely informative documentary on AFRICOM, the United States new initiative in Africa.  It sheds light of little known aspects of American foreign policy in the Africa — our involvement in Somalia, Cameroon, Uganda and yes Sudan.   Watch it below.

Part 1

Part 2

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Combating Child Malnutrition

Ever heard of Plumpy’doz? Chances are you won’t find it at your local Ralphs or Albertsons.

It is a ready-to-use therapuetic food (RUTF) that UNICEF plans to introduce this month in Somalia, where malnutrition rates are nearly 20%.

3 teaspoons of the product (made from milk powder, sugar, peanut paste, oil, minerals, and vitamins) will be distributed to infants 3 times a day for 8 months.

The aim is to pro-actively prevent child malnutrition rather than re-actively treat it.

Plumpy’doz costs $0.17 per day or $1.17 per bottle.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

BBC News has released its 2008 Africa – Year in Pictures. Check it out.

Sadly, most monthly highlights show violence and instability.

Hopefully, 2009 will bring more awareness and aid to regions in need.

Pope Seeks Peace for Africa

During his Christmas Day message, Pope Benedict XVI called for an end to chaos in Africa – particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Zimbabwe, and Sudan.

The Pope spoke of the “interminable sufferings” of the people of these countries as the “tragic consequences of the lack of stability and peace”.

He further encouraged individuals worldwide to not stand idly by –

If people look only to their own interests, our world will certainly fall apart.

I encourage all of you, this holiday season and beyond, to heed the words of Pope Benedict XVI.

Top 10 Humanitarian Crises

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF – also known as Doctors Without Borders) has published its annual list of the top ten humanitarian crises.

The 2008 list is as follows:

1. Somalia
2. Myanmar
3. Zimbabwe
4. Democratic Republic of Congo
5. Child malnutrition
6. Ethiopia
7. Pakistan
8. Sudan
9. Iraq
10. HIV/TB co-infection

MSF claimed that providing aid proved to be especially difficult this year as a result of increased security risks and inadequate government attention to worsening situations.