Lesser-known crises deserve global attention

Posted: Thursday, March 24, 2005

A survey ... has cited 10 significant crises that aid experts said had been neglected by the world media.

The most neglected humanitarian hot spots, the aid experts said, included the crises in Congo, northern Uganda, western and southern Sudan, West Africa, Colombia, Chechnya, Nepal and Haiti.

The United Nations list is longer: 21, including Eritrea, Somalia, Tajikstan, North Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq and the occupied Palestinian territories.

The experts also called attention to the global AIDS pandemic and infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis.

These crises have killed millions, and leave thousands traumatized by torture, rape, imprisonment, arson, starvation and diseases, yet they had been ignored by the international media. Why? ...

On Jan. 12, President George W. Bush asked Americans not to let their contributions to the tsunami victims replace their charity to other parts of the world, referring to the humanitarian crises in Central Africa.

The forgotten crises never make it to the world's front pages, but they cry out for help from individuals, organizations and nations. Public contributions are an important investment. Turmoil is much cheaper to avert, according to (UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs) Egeland, than to fix once it has erupted.

— The Manila Times (Philippines)

March 23

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