Our View: Somalia needs world’s attention

If anything good has come out of the wretched aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, perhaps it’s the western world’s awakening to the horrific realities faced by so many of our fellow human beings.

If anything good has come out of the wretched aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, perhaps it’s the western world’s awakening to the horrific realities faced by so many of our fellow human beings.

Sunday’s 10th anniversary of the terrorist skyjackings that destroyed the World Trade Center towers and damaged the Pentagon is a chance to pay tribute to those who died in the attacks, in the rescue efforts and in the wars that followed.

It’s also an opportunity to to shift our gaze outward and see what is happening in the world today. In particular, it is past time to act on a situation that has been allowed to deteriorate into incomprehensible suffering.

War, religious extremism and corruption are threatening the lives of 750,000 people in Somalia. Other residents of nations in the Horn of Africa are also at risk of dying in a famine that is largely man-made.

Now considered a failed state, Somalia faces extreme violence, with the militant group al-Shabab accused of stealing food aid and firing on care workers and civilians.

Make no mistake, the mass starvation of children is avoidable. Drought and food shortages are problematic, but the true hurdle is simply a matter of political will.

There are positive signs. This week an agreement was reached to prepare for elections that could bring a level of stability to the country, which has been in chaos since long before dictator Mohammed Siad Barre was overthrown in 1991.

The west has the resources to provide the needed aid as well as the security forces to ensure aid is distributed to those in need.

We just need to muster the will to act.

To find out how you can help, contact the Victoria office of the Canadian Red Cross at 250-382-2043, or visit www.redcross.ca.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Scarlet fever reported at Victoria elementary school

Parents advised to look for symptoms of ‘strawberry tongue’ and rash

Saanich dog walkers react to potential review of bylaws allowing off-leash dogs on beaches

Focus should have remained on migratory birds, not on dog behaviour, says Cadboro Bay dog walker

No dogs allowed off-leash at Luxton Fairgrounds in Langford

New sign placed by Metchosin Farmers Institute on Wednesday, Feb. 19

North Saanich’s Deep Cove Market up for sale for almost $1.8 million

Long-time owner Rosemary Scott hopes the public will understand her decision

Council approve temporary storage to extend life of Oak Bay Fire Hall

It’s cute, it’s iconic, but the picturesque Oak Bay Fire Hall is… Continue reading

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Two B.C. men plead guilty to bus-terminal assault of man with autism in Ontario

Parmvir Chahil and Jaspaul Uppal due to be sentenced in June for aggravated assault

B.C. Liberals call for assistance on soaring strata insurance rates

NDP’s Carole James says problem is across the country

Most Read