ONE cofounder Bono and Somali-born singer and poet K’naan interviewed with CNN’s Anderson Cooper last night on the growing crisis in Somalia and urged the world to put a higher priority on responding to what has become a humanitarian catastrophe.
Anderson and Sanjay Gupta have been reporting from Dadaab and Mogadishu this week, bringing forth heart-breaking stories of the tens of thousands of children who have already died as a result of the famine, with 600,000 more at imminent risk. The world is not responding fast enough to this crisis. There is still a $1 billion funding gap that must be met or millions more could die.
As Bono and K’naan said last night to Anderson:
Bono: “It’s hard to believe that this is the 21st century and you know we mustn’t let the complexity of the situation absolve us from responsibility to act. That’s really the message … When you hear stories, and as you’ve reported, of women leaving their dead children on the road to come beg for food, to choose between children, can you imagine? ‘I have to leave this one, he looks the weakest or she looks the weakest, I’ll take this one.’ This is outrageous! This can’t be happening, it must be stopped. And it’s not our intentions, it’s our actions. It’s not the possibilities of the United Nations or the AU, it’s our priorities that define us. This is a defining moment.”
K’naan: “I think people have created a psychological fence around their hearts where Somalia is concerned. We have to find a way to get past that, and look at the humanity of what is happening and help people who are in need of our help at this moment. We are not usually the sort of people who take the victim’s seat. We are people who stand up for ourselves. But it’s a very, very dire, dire situation.”