In case you missed it: ONE discusses Horn of Africa crisis with Raj Shah and Josette Sheeran

Halima Bare is struggling to feed her children
Halima Bare in Elado village, Wajir District. Photo credit: Jo Harrison/Oxfam
As you may have read on our blog, Twitter and Facebook page, we hosted an urgent conference call on the Horn of Africa crisis with USAID Administrator Raj Shah, World Food Programme Executive Director Josette Sheeran and Somali activist Ali Ali last night. ONE’s US Executive Director Sheila Nix moderated the discussion, which aimed to directly address ONE members’ concerns and questions around the issue.

Horn of Africa conference call:

In case you missed it, you can listen to the recorded call in the player above. It also includes the Q&A session, which features a question from ONE supporter Bill Frist. As you listen, you’ll find that our guests discussed a number of topics, ranging from the situation on the ground to how we can step up our game.

Here’s some of our favorite quotes from the call:

Administrator Shah talked about his experience at the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, which is home to 160,000 people, mostly from Somalia. “When you go and visit Dadaab and stand in the intake center, and see young child after young child show up after a long trek from South and Central Somalia, acutely malnourished, weak, unable to hold themselves up, you get a sense for how dramatic this famine situation is,” he said.

Ms. Sheeran warned ONE members that an entire generation of young children is at risk. Child malnutrition leads to reduced cognitive development, poorer school performance and lower economic productivity and income earning potential later in life. “Our biggest concern is the need for massive large scale efforts to reach all of those inside Somalia who have been unreached so far,” Ms. Sheeran said. “The world knows how to act at this scale, if given access to do so.”

And Ali-Ali, who is a member of the Somali diaspora community from Minneapolis, Minn., said, “I ask that the world step up and support the Horn of Africa in this time of crisis to address the immediate needs of basic food, water, and shelter, but also work with Somalis and others to put in place long-term solutions to help prevent famine in the first place.”

Please listen to the mp3 of the discussion in the player above and let us know what you think. Like I said in a previous blog post, although the Horn of Africa crisis is not making US headlines, it doesn’t mean you can’t make it breaking news in your community of family and friends.