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July 31, 2004
I came across Sudan: Passion of the Present via Joi Ito's weblog tonight. I'm glad to see the Web community coming together for an issue the UN dealt with weakly. After seeing the blog coverage of the DNC and related "sub" coverage of the protest efforts, I think we have a real shot at making a difference.
Thomas Vincent reminds me that the US Congress already officially labeled the Darfur situation a genocide and that USAID is trying to rally efforts & a comprehensive emergency aid package, to help out. PotP, of course, has some excellent suggestions on what to do.
It really bothers me that the UN gave Sudan 30 days to get their act together and to take out the militias. According to a USAID briefing, 300,000 to 350,000 could die in Darfur this year of disease & starvation - a number that is approximate to the entire city of Miami, Florida according to the 2000 census. Can you imagine that amount of deaths? It's unthinkable and I think we can do something about it.
The question is, how many people may die in relationship to this situation, and the truth of the matter is nobody knows because we do not have comprehensive access now and we have not had comprehensive access all along. We have made our own projections -- the professionals who work in this field, there are epidemiologists who do this kind of work in Africa, specializing in the Horn of Africa and so forth -- and our projection is that by the end of the year, starting from earlier in the year, in the neighborhood of 300- to 350,000 excess deaths will occur - Roger Winter, USAID Assistant Administrator For The Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance Bureau
Whether its lobbying Congress for more action and monetary aid, donating money or time youself, or harassing your own government and even taking it to the UN - do your part. So little by so many of us can do a lot.
Couldn't agree more, Ben. Glad to find your site. (via Joi's.)
Please keep me in the loop if you come up with ideas for further web initiatives; I'd be more than willing to help.
Thanks for elevating this important issue!