Prevent Large-Scale Starvation and Famine

Target: Michael McCaul, Chair of U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee

Goal: Approve funding for security and humanitarian aid to Haiti.

Famine threats are rising around the world, from the Gaza Strip to Sudan. While these dangers have been well-documented, lesser attention is often paid to a nation that already stands as one of the most food-insecure in the world. Rampant gang violence and political turmoil have only worsened malnutrition for Haiti’s 11 million-plus residents, nearly half of whom are experiencing severe food insecurity. Of these troubling numbers, roughly a quarter of a million are children.

On a scale of food insecurity developed by international organizations, the top tier—famine—occurs when there is “the absolute inaccessibility of food to an entire population or sub-group of a population, potentially causing death in the short term.” Currently, one-and-a-half-million people in Haiti meet this criterion, but the number will surely rise without immediate humanitarian aid. Worsening the crisis is a cholera outbreak that makes children in particular more than three times likely to die if they are also experiencing prolonged malnutrition and starvation conditions.

The United Nation’s World Food Programme has sent an urgent plea for donations (donations that now stand at only two percent of the stated goal), but unfortunately, urgently needed aid from one of the most influential nations on Earth has been stalled. Sign the petition below to demand politicians put aside the partisanship that is coming at the expense of millions of starving people.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Representative McCaul,

It begins with the breakdown of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Then muscles wither and vital organs start shutting down. The breakdown of digestive functions makes it nearly impossible to absorb what little nutrients can be found. Extreme fatigue and lethargy settle in as the body fights to keep any scrap of energy. If infections do not dominate a waning immune system, then eventually the heart will stop and the agony ends.

This is the reality of starvation and famine: the reality that may await millions of human beings in Haiti in the absence of urgent aid. Children will suffer first and worst. Many of these children will have already experienced devastating physical and sexual violence at the hands of gangs that have overtaken their cities and towns. And desperation will drive their families to seek refuge elsewhere, which will continue the cycle of the migrant crisis. The United Nations describes the Haiti crisis in the simplest and starkest terms: “a robust humanitarian response plan is imperative.”

Will the United States continue to abandon its responsibilities and leadership role in the world by letting paperwork and semantics get in the way while millions face death? Or will you—as the chair of the committee responsible for pushing forward essential aid—fulfill the political and moral necessity of now? Please make the right decision. Lives depend on it.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Marcello Casal


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  • Steve Green
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