The Future for Africa's Children (Niger and Uganda) - Page 2 - U2 Feedback

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Old 07-26-2005, 10:16 AM   #16
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Hamissou lies still in the arms of his grandmother July 22, 2005 at the Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) therapeutic feeding center in Maradi, in the south of Niger, 650 kilometres (400 miles) east of the capital Niamey. The World Food Program said that thanks to the outpouring of international aid in recent days to help hungry Niger, emergency food distribution to 270,000 people could begin this week


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Old 07-26-2005, 06:49 PM   #17
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Mrs Springsteen - excellent contribution

Bono's Saint - I'm glad that you took the plunge! Change comes ONE life at a time. (Please let us know about "your child")

sulawesigirl - our thoughts and prayers are with all of you

Scarletwine - you can always make a contribution to any thread I start.
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Old 07-26-2005, 08:43 PM   #18
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Contribution sent.

Btw, could anyone provide an explanation for the apparent lack of trade between African nations? I understand that trade b/w nations like Sierra Leone and Niger would be nil, but what about the more prosperous countries?
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Old 07-27-2005, 06:38 PM   #19
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Oh God, 2Hearts, the reason for the weak trade between African nations is really complicated.

For what I know, the main reason is that most of the materials that African nations have to trade are tied up in trade agreements that they have made with the developed countries which basically take their materials that these countries have to trade at a VERY REDUCED PRICE so that African countries are ACTUALLY MADE POORER by these trade agreements!

But, in order to qualify for assistance from developed countires, struggling African countries are almost forced into these trade agreements.

It's a vicious, unfair circular process which has actually made Africa poorer over the last 25 years!

To learn more about unfair trade and trade agreements, check out this website:

http://www.maketradefair.org

And thanks for your contribution to help Africa's children.
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Old 07-27-2005, 08:05 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jamila

For what I know, the main reason is that most of the materials that African nations have to trade are tied up in trade agreements that they have made with the developed countries

I guess this is one of the reasons Bono calls it 'stupid' poverty. It is unbelievable how stupid agreements like that are. Thanks for the link, I'm definitely going to check it out.
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Old 07-30-2005, 09:44 AM   #21
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Note of interest....

Anderson Cooper's 360 will be reporting live from Niger on Monday......we can get a first-hand glimpse of what is happening there now.

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Old 08-01-2005, 03:04 PM   #22
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Hi, Jamila


Got my package from UCCF. My child--God, can't really call him a child. My good looking young man is Viani Mugumya, 14. He lives in Rakai ( my ignorance is overwhelming. Sigh). His father died from AIDS in 1996. His mother died a few years later. I would post a picture, but have no scanner. Well, off to research.
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Old 08-01-2005, 05:25 PM   #23
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Probably better not to post a picture of Viani since he's still a child/young man.

SO good to know that someone took the plunge and decided to help secure a positive future for one of these beautiful, royal yet struggling children! ( - BonosSaint)

Keep us updated about your experiences coming to know more about Viani and about his life in Rakai (an area of Uganda that has been hard hit by AIDS). I think your experiences will help others learn more about the difficulties these children face and learn more about their TREMENDOUS SPIRIT to live and to love.

BonosSaint, I have a feeling that if Bono knew what you have just done out of the love and concern in your heart that you feel for these children, he would give you a BIG HUG and tell you what I would say "THANK YOU"!

LOVE IS BIGGER THAN US....
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Old 08-01-2005, 07:29 PM   #24
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That is so good to hear.....I am working on a few things myself to help the childen....it's just that I've been caught in the middle of confusion the past few weeks.

Anderson's report from Niger was so sad.......Doctors Without Borders have been so helpful but still the children die such a desolate death...it tears at the

Good to see Anderson give us an idea of what is actually happening there today and some background of the region and people...for sure we need more reporters like him around....for people often see their own little segment of their world...and not the world which really exists.



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Old 08-02-2005, 09:33 AM   #25
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I was listening all about the situation in Niger on the news the other evening.

They were saying that the famine is not simply to do with the rains or the locust plague that the country has had. They even showed pictures of all the food that was available in a town nearby where on of the Medicines Sans Frontieres camps were. Here a family of 8 can feed itself for as little as 40 pence. The news reporter was saying that it is poverty which is leading to these people starving. I know that is kind of obvious to say but I expect this was a disaster waiting to happen in Niger and that the recent natural "disasters" that have hit the country have tipped it over the edge.

I have to admit that I was fairly ignorant of what has been going on in Africa (at least up until Live 8) but I have started to take a interest.

I have had a look on the fair trade website someone mentioned above - thanks for the link!
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Old 08-02-2005, 03:19 PM   #26
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Good for you, Tilli - please keep up your interest in learning more about the challenges Africa is currently facing. Africa needs all the friends she can get.

And wizard2c, I'm sorry that I missed that program. It is good news though that the media is beginning to focus their attention on Africa and are beginning to explore some of the various reasons that African people are in the dire situation that they're in.

Please do whatever you can to help the children of Niger and Uganda.
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Old 08-04-2005, 03:59 PM   #27
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Look at what U2 are doing to help the children of South Africa:

U2 gives music rights to HIV centre

Rock band U2 has agreed not to charge DDB South Africa for the use of their song 'Kite' which will be used in an Nkosi's Haven television commercial. They have also wavered usage rights because the commercial is for South Africa's first care centre for HIV/AIDS mothers and children. The commercial was the work of DDB's creative team Derek Postmus and Nicole Scanlan and was directed by Dominic Black from the production company Fade2Black.
[03 Aug 2005 12:52]

Every act of compassion and concern helps.

Even if its to give up your royalty rights so that these organizations canuse that money to save more lives!

SIMPLY BRILLIANT, U2!
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Old 08-05-2005, 06:10 AM   #28
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Quote:
Plenty of Food - Yet the Poor are Starving
by Jeevan Vasagar
The Guardian

TAHOUA, Niger -- In Tahoua market, there is no sign that times are hard. Instead, there are piles of red onions, bundles of glistening spinach, and pumpkins sliced into orange shards. There are plastic bags of rice, pasta and manioc flour, and the sound of butchers' knives whistling as they are sharpened before hacking apart joints of goat and beef.

A few minutes' drive from the market, along muddy streets filled with puddles of rainwater, there is the more familiar face of Niger. Under canvas tents, aid workers coax babies with spidery limbs to take sips of milk, or the smallest dabs of high-protein paste.

Wasted infants are wrapped in gold foil to keep them warm. There is the sound of children wailing, or coughing in machine-gun bursts.

"I cannot afford to buy millet in the market, so I have no food, and there is no milk to give my baby," says Fatou, a mother cradling her son Alhassan. Though he is 12 months old he weighs just 3.3kg (around 7lbs).

Fatou, a slender, childlike young woman in a blue shawl, ate weeds to survive before her baby was admitted to a treatment centre run by the medical charity MSF.

This is the strange reality of Niger's hunger crisis. There is plenty of food, but children are dying because their parents cannot afford to buy it.

The starvation in Niger is not the inevitable consequence of poverty, or simply the fault of locusts or drought. It is also the result of a belief that the free market can solve the problems of one of the world's poorest countries.

The price of grain has skyrocketed; a 100kg bag of millet, the staple grain, costs around 8,000 to 12,000 West African francs (around £13) last year but now costs more than 22,000 francs (£25). According to Washington-based analysts the Famine Early Warning System Network (Fewsnet), drought and pests have only had a "modest impact" on grain production in Niger.

The last harvest was only 11% below the five-yearly average. Prices have been rising also because traders in Niger have been exporting grain to wealthier neighbouring countries, including Nigeria and Ghana.

Niger, the second-poorest country in the world, relies heavily on donors such as the EU and France, which favour free-market solutions to African poverty. So the Niger government declined to hand out free food to the starving. Instead, it offered millet at subsidised prices. But the poorest could still not afford to buy.

At Tahoua market the traders are reluctant to talk about the hunger crisis affecting their countrymen as they spread their wares under thatched verandas jutting out from mud buildings. Snatches of the Qur'an from tinny tape players compete with Bollywood songs and the growl of lorries bringing sacks of rice and flour.

One man opens his left palm to display half a dozen tiny scorpions, a living advert for the herbal scorpion antidote he is selling in his other hand.

Omar Mahmoud, 18, who helps sell rice at his father's shop, blames the famine on drought: "I know there is hunger. It is because there wasn't enough rain. The price of millet has gone up because there wasn't enough rain last year."

Last month around 2,000 protesters marched through the streets of the capital, Niamey, demanding free food. The government refused. The same month, G8 finance ministers agreed to write off the country's $2bn (£1.3bn) debt.

"The appropriate response would have been to do free food distributions in the worst-affected areas," said Johanne Sekkenes, head of MSF's mission in Niger.

"We are not speaking about free distribution to everybody, but to the most affected areas and the most vulnerable people."

The UN, whose World Food Programme distributes emergency supplies in other hunger-stricken parts of Africa, also declined to distribute free food. The reason given was that interfering with the free market could disrupt Niger's development out of poverty.

"I think an emergency response should have started much earlier," says Ms Sekkenes. "Now we find ourselves in this serious nutritional crisis, with children under five who are suffering."

Three weeks ago the Niger government, its foreign donor countries and the UN did a volte-face, jointly agreeing to allow the distribution of free food. Aid is now being flown in from Europe and trucked from neighbouring countries.

A total of 3.6 million people live in the regions of Niger affected by the food crisis. According to the most reliable estimate, some 874,000 people now need free food to survive.

The food aid will arrive as children weakened by hunger face a new battle against disease. It is the rainy season in Niger, and the water helps spread diseases such as malaria and diarrhoea.

In the MSF treatment centre, a three-year-old girl called Aminata is suffering from a grotesque eye condition. Her eyeball is so swollen with fluid that it has popped out of her skull and bulges from her face. The doctors call it a retinal blastoma, the result of an untreated eye infection.

"The thing in her eye started off very small," said Aminata's mother, Nisbou. "I did not have money for hospital, so I treated it with herbs, traditional medicine."

The hunger crisis has struck communities which depend on a mix of subsistence farming and herding for their livelihoods. The stories told by the women in the treatment centre show that their plight began when locusts ate their crop and cattle fodder, but spiralled when the prices of food in the market shot out of reach.

In desperate times, adults can get by on the poorest of foods, weeds and the stubble of their crops, but mothers cannot make breastmilk on this diet and infants cannot eat weeds.

Amid the anxiety, there are unexpected moments of gaiety in the feeding centre. Asked her age, Nisbou, who is probably about 20, replied: "I am 100 years old." She burst out laughing at her own joke, then looked weary again, and tucked her baby's deformed face under a lace shawl.
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Old 08-05-2005, 07:30 AM   #29
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I don't know as much as I should about this stuff. Thanks for posting this stuff jamila.
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Old 08-05-2005, 08:54 PM   #30
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thanks for the article, sulawesi.

The important thing to remember is that, though there may be food in some areas of Niger, the people who are suffering are the poor.

And we shouldn't allow them to perish simply because they can't pay the exhorbitant prices for a handful of food.

We wouldn't want that to happen to someone we know.

Thanks for caring.
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