Pages

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Rohingya Victims Need Food, Peace and Justice

Co-authored with Brenna Gautam, a J.D. Candidate at Georgetown University Law Center.

Imagine waking up tomorrow and having to flee your home with only the food and supplies you can carry, not knowing when or if you will ever be able to return.

Your homeland could be a paradise: its climate dips into lush tropical temperatures, and its mountain ranges soar to beautiful heights. But as a displaced person, heavy rains and heat slow your escape, and the mountains become a death trap, stranding thousands of your people without food.

No matter how dangerous escape is, you can’t go back: there is only “fires, bullets, knives” from where you came. So, you keep forcing yourself forward, stumbling onwards for miles over rough terrain. There is no end in sight, and the hope of finding safety as a refugee beyond your own borders seems idealistic at best.

This situation is playing out in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people fleeing Myanmar. Conflict has erupted in Mynamar’s Rakhine state. The government is driving out members of the Rohingya minority: more than 200 villages have been burned and refugees have recounted harrowing stories of mass murder and rape.

See the full column at the HuffPost.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Buffalo News Oped: Health care reform must also address hunger

What has been tragically lost in the debate about health care is the connection to the hunger crisis in our country. According to Feeding America there are 42.2 million people living in food-insecure households, including more than 13 million children.

As families struggle to put food on the table, they are also vulnerable to health issues from the lack of nutrition. Bread for the World estimates $160 billion a year in health-related costs because of hunger in America. Its report states, “people who can’t always afford nutritious food have disproportionately higher rates of chronic diseases and poor health.”

So as Congress debates a new health care law, members should also be considering the costs of hunger, which have such a huge impact.

See my commentary in the Buffalo News (Sunday edition, July 2nd)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

World Refugee Day Calls Us To Feed the Hungry

World Refugee Day (June 20) calls us to action to feed war and disaster victims who have been forced to flee their homes.

The United States must lead by increasing funding for food aid programs, not eliminate them as proposed by the Trump administration in its budget proposal.

See my full column at the Huffington Post:

Friday, June 2, 2017

Interview: Lorene Didier of the World Food Programme in Haiti

Haiti is one of the 45 nations needing emergency food assistance this year according to the US Famine Warning System. Natural disasters, including Hurricane Matthew, has worsened food shortages in the impoverished nation. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is Haiti’s lifeline for overcoming hunger.

WFP provides school meals to children to reduce hunger and improve class attendance.

See the full interview here:

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Instead of sending weapons to the Middle East, we should be sending food

President Trump's new arms agreement with Saudi Arabia ignores the most urgent threat in the Middle East: famine.

Yemen is on the brink of starvation because of a civil war between a Saudi-led coalition and rebels.

Sending more arms to Saudi Arabia will strengthen its military machine to further wage war in Yemen. As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, "many of the armaments we’re providing to Saudi Arabia will help them be much more precise and targeted with many of their strikes."
What we should be doing instead is providing food to Yemen.

See my full commentary at The Hill:

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

We’re in a Global Hunger Crisis. Solution? Take JFK’s Approach

The U.S. government’s global famine warning system has sounded the alarm on hunger. As a result of conflict and drought “70 million people, across 45 countries, will require emergency food assistance this year.”

Four countries (South Sudan, Yemen, Nigeria, Somalia) are in the gravest danger of famine.

As the Trump administration gets underway, they are suddenly faced with a world hunger crisis that is “unprecedented in recent decades.” How will they respond to the biggest foreign policy emergency of their first year?

See my full article at The History News Network:

We Must Respond to South Sudan Famine

The United Nations declared famine Monday in parts of South Sudan, where 100,000 people are facing starvation. It could get much worse too with another million on the brink.

South Sudan, which has suffered immensely from civil conflict, could see over 5 million people living in hunger if no action is taken.

Read the full article at the Huffington Post: