Without question, this has been a long, hot summer. In Houston, it is the 25th day of 100 degree heat. Wild fires rage in West Texas, and Central Texas faces an unprecedented drought. While the situation is challenging for Texans, we must be thankful that our taps still run with fresh water, and our grocery store shelves remain stocked. Not everyone is so lucky.
Thousands of miles away in the Horn of Africa, there is another drought. However in Somalia and parts of Ethiopia, drought is not merely inconvenient; it is deadly. 29,000 thousand children have died needlessly in the last 90 days, and experts believe that the crisis will continue until January, at best.
While America faces economic challenges at home, it is critical that we provide life-saving aid to the Horn of Africa. Compassion is one of the greatest American values, and we cannot sit idly by as innocent children perish. Not only is it the right thing to do, but improving the American image abroad will increase our national security.
I urge Congressman Olsen to call for increased U.S. leadership in the Horn of Africa, and for his support of cost-effective, long term development strategies like the Feed the Future Initiative. Relative to our overall budget, these programs represent a tiny fraction of spending, yet they are critical to millions of people around the world. We cannot balance the budget on the backs of the poor.
LMSW, MPH – CARE International –
Volunteer Chair Delegate, District 22