UNICEF: 100,000 Pakistani kids face starvation

A malnourished Pakistani girl, Heleema, at a camp for displaced people in Sukkur, Sindh province, southern Pakistan.  Aaron Favila / AP

A malnourished Pakistani girl, Heleema, at a camp for displaced people in Sukkur, Sindh province, southern Pakistan. Aaron Favila / AP

I was going to talk about the appropriate amount of homework for kids, but then I saw this story: UNICEF says 100,000 children are about to starve in Pakistan due to the recent flooding.

From The Associated Press:

“SUKKUR, Pakistan — Suhani Bunglani fans flies away from her two baby girls as one sleeps motionless while the other stares without blinking at the roof of their tent, her empty belly bulging beneath a green flowered shirt.”

“Their newborn sister already died on the ground inside this steamy shelter at just 4 days old, after the family’s escape from violent floods that drowned a huge swath of Pakistan. Now the girls, ages 1 and 2, are slowly starving, with shriveled arms and legs as fragile as twigs.”

“More than 100,000 children left homeless by Pakistan’s floods are in danger of dying because they simply do not have enough to eat, according to UNICEF. Children already weak from living on too little food in poor rural areas before the floods are fighting to stay alive, as diarrhea, respiratory diseases and malaria attack their emaciated bodies….”

“The floodwaters that swamped a section of Pakistan larger than Florida continue to inundate new areas, forcing even more people to flee. Some 18 million have already been affected, and nearly half of them are homeless. Many have been herded into crude, crowded camps or left to fend for themselves along roads.”

“But doctors warn the real catastrophe is moving much slower than the murky water. About 105,000 kids younger than 5 at risk of dying from severe acute malnutrition over the next six months, the United Nations Children’s Fund estimates.”

” ‘You’re seeing children who were probably very close to the brink of being malnourished and the emergency has just pushed them over the edge,’ says Erin Boyd, a UNICEF emergency nutritionist working in southern Pakistan. ‘There’s just not the capacity to treat this level of severe acute malnutrition.’ ”

“The World Food Program alone has fed more than 4 million people since the crisis began, distributing monthly rations that include nutrition-packed foods for children. But the sheer geographic and human scale of the disaster is overwhelming, and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called it the worst he has ever seen.”

We were all heartbroken over the poor children in Haiti so do we care about these poor babies in Pakistan? The photos on MSNBC’s site are absolutely horrifying.

All of my babies grew up so big and fat that I can’t even imagine little arms and legs that will snap like twigs. These babies’ tummies bulge from emptiness not from their mother’s milk.

We can remember a year ago how awful it felt to have our homes flooded and now these poor people are watching their children starve from their flood.

So other than just feeling guilty, what can we do to help? Well, MSNBC has a wonderful list of links through which families can donate. Here is the list from MSNBC:

“For general donations, text “SWAT” to 50555 to donate $10 to help flood victims ( UN refugee agency and mGive).”

“For specific aid initiatives, you can look at various organizations that are involved in Pakistan flood relief efforts at InterAction.”

“A few organizations you can donate to include:

CARE (Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe)
USA for UNHCR (USA for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees)
IRC (International Rescue Committee)
Direct Relief International
Mercy Corps
Oxfam
AmeriCares
UNICEF (U.N. Children’s Fund)
Save the Children
Doctors without Borders
Concern Worldwide US
U.N. World Food Program
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
Catholic Relief Services
Church World Service
Islamic Relief USA
World Vision
International Medical Corps

“Volunteer/non-monetary contributions
If you have specific skills (medicine, engineering, communications, etc.) and want to volunteer your time and energy, go to Center for International Disaster Information.”

How can the Pakistani government get more international attention for this crisis? Will you be able to help? Will you tell your friends what is going on?

(I’ll throw out a lighter topic later but I feel like it’s the least I can do to draw attention to this crisis.)

64 comments Add your comment

irisheyes

September 20th, 2010
10:38 pm

How absolutely heartbreaking. I wish we had a magic wand and could wish it all away. While I know there are organizations out there working their hardest, some of those precious babies won’t see their next birthday despite our best efforts. Sad doesn’t even come close to describing it.

The Nation of Refugees « JacobFreeze

September 21st, 2010
5:49 am

[...] mentions that now 12 million people in Pakistan need “emergency food aid.” About 105,000 kids younger than 5 are at risk of dying from severe acute malnutrition over the next six months, UNICEF [...]

moosecrazy

September 21st, 2010
7:58 am

Wow, this is devastating. That country wasn’t very stable before the flood and look at them now. And those poor, innocent children ; [ i wish i could do something

Rick

September 21st, 2010
8:02 am

The problem here is that Pakistan has spent money to develop and maintain a nuclear arsenal. Shouldn’t that money been spent on Pakistan citizens?

Rick, you are absolutely correct...

September 21st, 2010
8:12 am

…but the emphasis here is on the helpless kids and the devastation on them following an event that is not related to the politics of the country, and who have no say in how their country is run…

Photius

September 21st, 2010
8:13 am

The USA is already the #1 provider of humanitarian aid to Pakistan – over $1 Billion a year for a combination of military support and humanitarian aid. A lot of it is siphoned off in corruption from government officials. The United States was the first international force to send in military helicopters with supplies. In my opinion there is nothing more that can be done. Donating to this region of the world is to give half of it away to corrupt government officials. Pakistan’s Intelligence Service is playing a duel role in giving lip service to the United States while secretly supporting the Taliban in Peshawar Province who kill our soldiers and hide Osama Bin Laden. The USA is donating vast amounts of relief supplies currently primarily because of their nuclear arsenal in addition for some assistance targeting the Taliban in Peshawar. What you are seeing in those pictures happens to the MAJORITY OF THE WORLD. The West is so rich, so well off we insulate ourselves from the reality of what life on earth is like for most . I would not give anything financially to help Pakistan; I would rather spend the money on a local project of people in need in order to see the direct effect.

mom or 3

September 21st, 2010
8:27 am

It is horrible that these children are starving to death. However, and I am sure this will cause major feedback, I am sick of children in America starving and being harmed and our government gives money to other nations to help the starving there. Agreeing with Photius on spend the money on a local project and help our own and stop helping terrorists.

mom of 3

September 21st, 2010
8:28 am

oops name should have been mom of 3. typo guess if y’all have grammar police i will get hit on my 1st post.

Lissa

September 21st, 2010
8:37 am

The root of the problem is lack of education; teach these folks about birth control. I’ve always said “Don’t breed em’ if you can’t feed em’”. Doing otherwise is child abuse, plain & simple.

Becky

September 21st, 2010
8:48 am

@mom of 3..Well if you get major feedback from your post, I’m right there with you..I aso think that we have to many children here that are starving and need help..Also, as Photius said, if most of the money that is donated wasn’t wasted on the “people” that are in charge and you knew for a fact that it was being used properly, I wouldn’t mind giving..

This is the reason that I only donate to the Shriners..I know that some might not like them, but 98% of what they collect is given back to the hospitals and children..Can any other group say that?

from outside the US

September 21st, 2010
8:48 am

I’m sorry, but I really have to say something about a few of the last comments. I would be really surprised if any of these commentators have ever been to a developing country. I have spent half of my career workign in the developoing world and currently live in Mozambique, in Africa. While there is certainly poverty in the US and we should help those in our immediate circle, there is absolutely no comparison in terms of absolute number and absolute severity between the US and developing nations like Pakistan. Only 15% of the world’s undernourished children live in developing countries (UN stat, 2010). The overwhelming majority of those starving are in the developing world.

Furthermore, the developing world lacks basic infrastructure that many developed nations take for granted. For example, if you are poor in the US, you can get on Medicaid, apply for food stamps, or go to a local church food pantry. If your child is sick, youc an take them to the emergency room without question. This simply does not exist for most of the world. There is no infrastructure for them. There is no place for them to turn and unfortunately, yes their government has caused this.

But do you really think every child in Pakistan should be judged by their government? Would you want the world judging you as an individual based on all of governments decisions? I sure as heck wouldn’t. When thinking about how you look at people, please try to separate an individual from a government decision.

Furthermore, the whole ideal that the US gives a ton of our money to humanitarian aid is false. Foreign aid makes us less than 1% of the US federal budget each year. Each American gives, per year, less than $1 going to foreign aid from their taxes. The Medicare and Medicaid budget typically take over $40 of th US budget each, so what exactly are you upset about?

I understand that it is often more difficult to give to countries like Pakistan, but please do not judge their children by their government officials.

from outside the US

September 21st, 2010
8:51 am

sorry, should have said Medicare and Medicaid take up more than 40% of the federal budget each year.

Young@heart

September 21st, 2010
9:10 am

This is very heartbreaking! There are children right here in GA that if they don’t eat at school or from a community outreach such as a soup kitchen they Go hungry…No they are not sickly as the children in Pakistan, but they are our local family. Did you notice they had a Newborn along with a 1 & 2 year old. 3 children 2 years old and under! Sounds to me like Birth Control and education need to be provided along with food and supplies. The Children were already starving and Malnourished why have more? Sorry if this is Harsh but when I had a baby I couldn’t really afford and had to get State aide…I was raked over the coals by my family…and I used it as a Hand up not a Hand out!…I no longer need the aide and I stopped having babies.

from outside the US

September 21st, 2010
9:22 am

again, people who have never been outside the US. You do realize that birth control (condoms, pills, etc.) are not just “available” in the developing world like they are in the US right? When a mother has to carry a pitch of water 3 miles each day just to have water, do you really think there is a CVS or something around the corner so they can purchase birth control? Please people, do your research. And if your answer is “just don’t have sex”, I laugh.

Furthermore, did you ever think that maybe in the developing world which is still primarily based on farming and agriculture, that families are big so that there can be help during the harvesting seasons? You know, something we used to do in the US when we were based primarily on agriculture?

I certainly agree that birth control is needed, but you people make it seem like these families are just selfish when it might actually be an issue of needing extra help.

Oh, and if you really want to credit someone with not promoting birth control in the develping world, blame the policies of the Bush administration. This administration put in strict policies related to foreign aid money and promotion of birth control…you know, because birth control is not moral…

But don’t let facts in the way of your thinking

Young@heart

September 21st, 2010
9:37 am

I think we are seeing both sides of the issue here…Thank you to -From outside the US- for your information and look into the developing world. I know we are very fortunate here in the US. Even the Poor have options for relief…However I do see a double standard here…When Americans have to many babies we are looked down upon by our Government and Our Peers. Also If I had to walk that far for water I darn sure wouldn’t be making babies every 9 months. There are options other than just what CVS has to offer.

Becky

September 21st, 2010
9:41 am

@from outside the US..No, I’ve never been to a country where the kids are starving, so I’m not going to argue with you about it..I do think though that if we can keep sending money, then we can darn well send condoms and people that can teach these people something about birth control..And bygod if we can’t send them birth control, then why can’t we have them fixed so that they can’t get pregnant?

As young@heart said, I’m not trying to be harsh, I’m just tired of children here starving to death and living on the streets, while we support other countries..How do the people in the US learn about birht control? They sure didn’t come from other countries to teach us..

Photius

September 21st, 2010
9:50 am

The United States led the United Nations in raising over $450 million dollars for Pakistan’s flood relief at the end of last month; our contribution as a nation was over $216 million dollars – all of it funded by selling our T-Bills to China. America gives more foreign aid than any other nation on earth; we have nothing as a people to feel guilty about. For every disaster in the world America is always the top contributor and responds quickly. @FromOutsidetheUS, may I also remind you that under Bush’s Presidency aid to Africa for AIDS care tripled – a very sizable amount of money and focus were provided by the United States. We send our military into horrible areas after a disaster with aid relief: Somalia, Pakistan, Haiti, Liberia, Chile all the Pacific Rim nations after the Tsunami – our national conscious is clear, America is #1 in helping people after a disaster.

With Pakistan sanctions were imposed on them after they detonated a nuclear weapon in the 1990’s, only to get lifted after 9/11 in return for assistance in fighting the Taliban. The United States increased aid to Pakistan dramatically after 9/11 and has seen that nation secretly funnel funds into the Taliban, providing a true safe haven for Osama Bin Laden; Secretary of State Clinton recently blasted the Pakistani’s over their corruption and double talk as they repeatedly lie to our foreign policy. Shoulder fired missiles yesterday brought down a NATO helicopter killing 9 soldiers; Pakistan funds the Taliban with bombs and weapons to kill American soldiers. Peshawar province Pakistan refuses to let American forces enter, the staging area for attacks against our soldiers. Pakistan via their head scientist openly spread their formula to rouge nations on how to build a tactical nuclear weapon.

@FromOutsidetheUS, American foreign policy when dealing with an unstable nation with a nuclear arsenal, and unlawful border region and a corrupt government should not be overlooked either. Regardless, America has and always will respond to disasters quickly and with vast amounts of resources to help people. Pakistan continues to sabotage us as a nation but yet America responds quickly to providing aid for flood relief, then their leaders rip it off. Our hands are clean as a nation. We have given Pakistan over $1 Trillion dollars in assistance in the last decade.

Young@heart

September 21st, 2010
9:53 am

Well Said Becky!…Maybe we can have a condom drive and have them sent over?…I would donate to that.
Thank you to all who have the means to volunteer in another country. I thought I was doing good to help people in my small corner of the world where I know I can make a difference.
Its so hard to trust when you send money overseas because it doesn’t all get to them and there are constantly scams around every corner. When I was having hard times my family would drop by things or take me to the store and help me get what I needed, Not hand me cash, and thats what I will do if my children fall on hard times.

Valstake

September 21st, 2010
10:02 am

I have no answers, but remember, famine, food shortages and malnourished children occur somewhere in the world every year. Sending aid money might alleviate the problem this year, but until the aid recipients can raise their own food supplies and see that the food reaches all sectors of their society, hunger is not going away.

Jeff

September 21st, 2010
10:04 am

Photius, I’m with you on this topic. When these programs start showing me where the money went on the last donation plea to “save the children”, I’ll consider donating again. We, as Americans, give more than any other country, and it’s quite often NOT through the government aid that we donate the most. I’m tired of being made to feel guilty so I let go of my money only to not even get a genuine thank you. I’ll donate to my local organizations with time and money because I can verify where the money is going.

from outside the US

September 21st, 2010
10:18 am

Photius, you don’t have to remind me about Bush’s AIDS initiative, considering that is the program I have worked for over the last 4 years. BTW, it’s called the President’s Emergency Plan for HIV/AIDS Relief. While I didn’t vote for him, I do credit him with starting this and yes, clearly the US provides lots of foreign aid. I was simply pointing out that while the Bush administration provided money for HIV/AIDS, they also effectively took two steps backwards by severly (and I mean SEVERELY)curtailing any talk of condoms or birth control. I saw it with my own eyes. We were supposed to tell women “don’t get HIV/AIDS” but were told not to mention condoms or any form of birth control. If you’re going to give money to foreign aid, why not have the correct policies to back it up?

Luckily, under the Obama administation, we are actually allowed to promote birth control and talk about condoms! Yay!

Young@heart: what other options would you suggest? a mother can’t get pills or condoms, so what do you suggest? rhythm and other methods are less than 50% successful. I guess it’s the don’t have sex, even if you’re married?

I’m not trying to say that we shouldn’t analyze the political implications of foreign aid. I’m not about to start on that as there are hundreds of books and articles that analyze that.

But what I am consistently disappointed in is this “US children vs. others”. Why does it have to one or the other? If you are concerned about money going to a corrupt government, give to an organization that doesn’t work directly with the governement and just sends supplies and workers (many religious organizations do this). A child is a child, regardless of what country they come from, and I simply don’t understand the “us vs. them” mentality.

JATL

September 21st, 2010
10:27 am

@Everyone -so many good points made by both sides of the coin. First of all, I am NOT a liberal pushing my agenda here -I am a certified independent who feels I actually have little to no representation, but that’s a different blog -anyway -IF you vote Republican, and issues like the mass breeding in developing nations bothers you, then you SERIOUSLY need to make your voice and opinion known to the Republican party -or vote differently. The Bush administration literally went out of their way to make sure legislation to help developing countries COULD NOT BE PASSED unless there were NO provisions for birth control in the legislation. Because of the embracing of the religious right by the GOP, they won’t give any aid to anyone who may further the use of birth control or actually use any of the money to provide condoms or birth control ANYWHERE. Aid bills still get passed because people had rather send some aid than none at all, but we can’t have a “condom” drive or a push for contraceptive education in developing countries unless it’s done by a private group -and given the danger and the cost and the religious background of most private aid organizations -you’re not going to see that happen.

The situation for Pakistan’s children is sad and pitiful. I totally agree with “don’t breed ‘em if you can’t feed ‘em” but with the stone age mentality of so many in that region -don’t expect anything exciting to happen in the world of family planning very soon. Quite simply -along with food and clothing and medicine -the best thing we could do would be to put thousands of packets WRITTEN IN THEIR LANGUAGE with condoms and spermicide and instructions on how to not have children by using the products. But, as I previously mentioned, that’s not going to happen.

Young@heart

September 21st, 2010
10:32 am

At US…Has anyone taught these women to say “not tonight honey, I had to take care of 3 babies work the fields and walk 3 miles for water.” I tell my husband NO all the time, he’s still alive oh he may pout a little but he doesn’t run around on me because he has self control. Maybe that could be taught without additional expense or violating some beliefs.

DB

September 21st, 2010
10:35 am

The Pakistani floods have only exacerbated a marginal existence for these children, at best — but the child in the picture above didn’t get to that extreme point of malnourishment in the couple of weeks since the floods. She was already starving BEFORE the floods hit. Where was the outcry then, other than in late-nite commercials for Save the Children?

I hate to admit it, I’m somewhat numb to the huge amount of aid being siphoned away from the people who really need it in so many of these “developing countries.” Over and over again, the “aid” that we give, thinking that it is going towards emergency food and shelter, ends up going towards government buildings, etc, with the logic that “this project is good for our people.” I hate being this cynical.

DB

September 21st, 2010
10:37 am

@young@heart: You’re talking about a completely different culture when it comes to marriage dynamics. If they can’t afford food, you think they have money for birth control?

HB

September 21st, 2010
10:40 am

“I guess it’s the don’t have sex, even if you’re married?”

Well sure, why not? Because I’m sure, women in all these developing countries are highly respected, and men always readily accept that no means no.

Young@heart

September 21st, 2010
10:41 am

DB…I think you mean to reply to someone else I never said for them to get Birth control, I’m not stupid!…I suggested a Condom drive, instead of money…I’m just saying control yourselves people. Having that many babies so close together is not safe for the mother and if something happens to her then who’s going to take care of all the babies? Oh wait they might starve, I’m with you in that I’m numb to the needy in other countries. e give so much aid already

lwa

September 21st, 2010
10:43 am

Both sides have many good points. I give according to what my heart tells me to give and that is all one can ask for. Devestation can happen anywhere in the world and at any time. Katrina taught us that.

On the issue of birth control, is this a religious issue in Pakistan? Isn’t Islam the majority religion and does it allow for birth control? I am only asking. We must remember that sometimes our religious beliefs dictate our actions.

Young@heart

September 21st, 2010
10:47 am

I’m going to stop here before I get myself in trouble. I’m not political and very uneducated to the ways of foreign affairs. Just me here in Lil ol GA where I see children go without everyday and it breaks my heart. Charity should start at home.

Young@heart

September 21st, 2010
10:49 am

IWA…Point well made, I too give as my heart tells. But I am cold to countries that would let us starve or blow us up if they had the opportunity

cd

September 21st, 2010
10:55 am

@ from outside the US:
While I agree that natural forms of birth control are not as effective as hormonal and barrier methods, they are more than 50%. I think it’s much closer to 80%. And when used properly, they can be very effective. After our first son was born, we decided not to use artificial birth control. No hormones (pills, shots, patches) and no barriers. We also didn’t use any of the higher-tech methods of tracking cycles, like basal temperature tracking or anything like that. And you know what? I didn’t get pregnant for two whole years! It wasn’t a fertility issue, as it took us two months of “trying” the first time and only one month of not-trying-not-to the second time. I breastfed for 12 months, which helped a great deal. For most women, merely breastfeeding the baby will help naturally space her babies to at least 18 months apart. Most women who breastfeed – regardless of birth control – will not have three full-term pregnancies in less than three years.

ssidawg

September 21st, 2010
11:02 am

I fear that women in Pakistan might not be able to tell their husbands “not tonight dear”. I doubt if Pakistani women have a lot of rights. This is such an overwhelming problem. My heart breaks for the babies and the women who are in situations in which they have no control. Part of me thinks that it’s a blessing for a child to die an early death and not have to live the life of a Pakistani, where the chance of them ending up in slavery or a dead-end life is way too high.

from outside the US

September 21st, 2010
11:04 am

I completely agree that charity should start at home….but it shouldn’t end at home either. The train of logic that implies that because a few people in a given country (whether it is Pakistan or Iraq) want to blow up the US, then everyone in that country hates us, is misguided. A few bad apples does not mean the entire country should sufer.

I’ve been lucky enough to have a global career and have lots of friends from our supposed “enemy” nations. You know what? They like the US. They don’t hate me. They hate the terrorists. And their children shouldn’t suffer because of a minority.

Last stat: Yes, the US gives the most as a total of foreign aid, but as a percentage of our GDP (Gross Domestic Product), we are the bottom of giving in terms of developed nations. The top 3 in percent of GDP are Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. Adding private donations doesn’t actually bump us up that much in the rankings. Food for thought

JATL

September 21st, 2010
11:04 am

@Young at heart -do some research on fundamentalist Islamic culture and Pakistan and see what happens to women who tell their husbands, “No -not tonight honey.” It’s a pretty ugly picture. Women are slightly elevated above dogs there. At the least, denying their husbands will get them a beating -at the most -kicked out into the streets. With all of our poverty, domestic abuse,etc. (because you’re right -we DO have it and it is just as sad for children here to starve or for anyone to be abused anywhere) -we ALL have it really good compared to millions elsewhere in this world. I had rather be homeless in America any day than a peasant woman in Pakistan -and that’s the honest truth!

Young@heart

September 21st, 2010
11:18 am

When men did that to women here, did any foreign countries come over and say hey you shouldn’t treat your women that way? Or did the women have to stand up together and say this is not right, we have a say! Remeber the history, that is why we are a great nation, we maybe made mistakes but will fix them. We still have domestic violence here in the US we hear all the time how women are beaten/killed at the hands of their men, how can we save the world when we can’t save ourselves? I am not trying to sound like those babies starving is OK its NOT!!! and Its NOT the childrens fault, I thought the topic was about giving to the other countries and I believe if we give it needs to be through educating them how to stop a viscious cycle, and maybe one day their women will stand up.

JATL

September 21st, 2010
11:24 am

As ugly as women have been treated everywhere throughout history, including here in the U.S.A, American women never were systematically abused and mistreated on the level that so many women in developing countries today are. While blind eyes used to be turned to domestic abuse here, and women had very few legal rights -particularly over their husbands – it was NEVER lawful or okay for husbands to kill their wives. In many areas of Pakistan and many other fundamentalist Islamic nations it is LEGAL for husbands to MURDER their wives. During our suffragette movement and feminist movements, if men and society had legally been able to kill women for simply marching, demonstrating and speaking out I really don’t know where we would be right now. I doubt we would be in very good shape -nowhere near where we currently are! If half of society is legally able to kill the other half for breaking marital rules and flaunting convention, then sweeping social movements don’t happen very much.

Young@heart

September 21st, 2010
11:35 am

JATL-Wow have we gotten off topic, No children should not starve, No Men should not Murder their wives, but if all they want is our money and not any education then how will it ever stop? Its like giving a druggie cash everytime they come around, will they get better or worse. If you don’t hand over the Money and try to talk to them or get them treatment then all the sudden your the bad guy who needs to mind their own business and then don’t see them anymore.

catlady

September 21st, 2010
11:38 am

As, how naive some of you seem to be. In many countries, there are so many more barriers that you cannot “conceive”. For example, if you are a woman, in many places, you have no control over who or when you marry. You certainly have no control over if or when you have sex. You cannot use birth control, even if it were available and even if you had any money. Your husband believes you should be available at all times and that if you have children it is God’s will (also presumably, His will to let you watch them starve). As a woman, you are likely to have no education (so sending condoms and spermicide with directions is a joke). In refugee camps and beside the road, where would you find the infrastructure to provide birth control? There isn’t even food or bathrooms or adequate water supply! The mother must be terribly malnourished, since she is apparently not nursing (otherwise she would be unlikely to have 3 babies in 3 years) or else she has had access to formula at some point from a relief organization and become prematurely fertile again. And remember that having many children is seen as good–there is no Social Security, so any boy child who lives to adulthood will provide for you when/if you are elderly (40 years old is elderly).

I have to shake my head sadly at all the comments which show a lack of understanding of what the rest of the REAL world goes through. Of course, many of those commenting here regularly think that what THEY experience is the way it works for everyone. Not so. Not everyone is a white, middle class American, nor do they have the tremendous advantages we so take for granted.

light

September 21st, 2010
11:44 am

Let God will be done thru this blog http://lightoftheearth.blogspot.com/

Young@heart

September 21st, 2010
11:47 am

Why is it only White middle class American’s that you think have tremendous advantages? Middle class comes in all forms of people.

JATL

September 21st, 2010
11:56 am

@Young at heart -that’s the problem -we’re not allowed to just march in there and give them “education” on our terms. A lot of them believe WE should be educated on their terms, and that doesn’t sound like a very good proposal, does it? And one problem is we, as a nation, cannot agree on what we want our education to be. The Republican platform doesn’t believe we should provide any education about birth control anywhere -even to AIDS ravaged countries in Africa. Even if we do that, the CULTURE is completely different than it is here. It’s not something you can slap a band-aid on! There is a completely different mind-set and life is viewed very differently in many places -including the Pakistani countryside. You have to decide if you think we should give aid to starving children -no matter what their culture or government believes and does -or just say, “Sorry, you don’t agree with us or live like we do -so too bad.” It’s a grim reality, but children and people have always starved to death by the thousands -they do every year and it has never stopped. I wish it would stop, but don’t be naive about what can be done. You either have to be willing to give it with no strings or turn a blind eye and pretend it’s not happening. For the “charity begins at home” crowd -yes it does. We have so many aid programs from both the federal and state programs and thousands of private charity organizations that it boggles my mind how any child is still hungry in this country. HERE we do have the option of education, widespread birth control handouts and supporting tax-subsidized permanent birth control, but everyone freaks out over sex ed, free condoms and abortion. Can’t have it both ways!

Young@heart

September 21st, 2010
12:04 pm

Jatl-You make very good points, For the rest of today I don’t want to deal with all the sadness and corruption in the world so I will try to fix what I can in my own back yard without having to send extra money I don’t have. Love to stay and blog but have to get to work to feed my kids. Its been fun today, and I did learn a little. I learned its a very sad world outside our borders for many countries and I am proud to be an American.

Photius

September 21st, 2010
12:10 pm

Want to know the other reason the USA gave hundreds of millions of dollars to Pakistani flood relief? We need the supply route from Pakistani ports into Afghanistan since it is land locked.

HB

September 21st, 2010
12:28 pm

It’s too easy to just decide not to deal with all the sadness in the world and stay in our own backyard. And sure, we all work hard for our money and may feel like we don’t have extra, but the fact that we are all sitting here typing on computers, meaning we either can afford them or work decent office jobs, makes me think that we all could spare, say, $10 without it being much of a hardship (of course, I could be wrong and budgets may be tighter — I’m just guessing). I count 20 different posters here so far. According to the Doctors Without Borders site, if we each gave $10, our $200 would feed 26 kids 2 high energy meals per day for the next month. Sounds like just a little from us would go a long way. I’m going to go give now and hope others here will consider doing so too.

penguinmom

September 21st, 2010
12:48 pm

Just looked up the info on the floods. They began in JULY 2010. So these kids have not been hungry for just 2 weeks. It has been OVER TWO MONTHS. Yes, they may have been on the edge before the floods came but even a healthy baby in a prosperous family would be starving if it was not fed well for two months.

Over 2000 people have DIED and up to 21 Million are Homeless. This is not a situation caused strictly by politics. This was an unprecedented natural disaster that flooded up to 1/5 of Pakistan at one point. Imagine if 1/5 of the United States had been under water. It doesn’t matter how good the infrastructure is, people would be in dire straits.

I don’t suggest that our government get overly involved and send lots of extra tax money over. However, if everyone gave just a few dollars to an aid organization, together that money could help thousands of kids.

Yes, get personally involved at home. But, that doesn’t preclude spending a small amount to help someone outside the country. Don’t buy a Starbucks coffee today and instead save a life.

catlady

September 21st, 2010
12:58 pm

young at heart: Of course middle class comes in all kinds. Our middle class, which is disproportionately white in terms of color, would be fabulously rich in almost any other country in the world, Europe included.

What I find troubling is the many on this blog who assume that everyone in this state, country, and world shares the same values, culture, rights, history, education, and overall promise and opportunity as they do. So they self-righteously claim we should “tell those people” what to do.

Or, more generally, there are many on this blog that have experienced a very very tiny part of humanity, yet they think their experience with 5 kids tells them how it is for every kid. ‘taint so.

My middle class values would do me no good in the slums of Calcutta, or in sub-Sahara Africa, or most anywhere else in the world. The skills and knowledge I possess, the beliefs I have, would be laughable there. At some point I believe that intelligent, thinking people have to acknowledge this.

Young@heart

September 21st, 2010
1:05 pm

$10 to Pakistan feed the children, $10 to Humane Society, $10 to the Earthquake in Chili, $10 to Breast Cancer, $10 to Red Cross, $10 to feed the Children USA, $10 for Hurricane Katrina, $10 to help the Gulf residents, $10 MS research, $10 to starving children in Mylasia, $10 for St. Jude, $10 to Aids Research, $10 to Lung Cancer research, $10 to EVERY kind of Cancer research! $10 to the High School Booster Club, $10 to the Elementary PTA, lets not forget the 17% in payroll taxes and then another 7% on every purchase you make. Don’t forget to tithe 10% at Church, Don’t you think all those are good causes too? They save lives every day and the list of people to help keeps going. Knowing you helped your neighbor next door or down the street Priceless!

HB

September 21st, 2010
1:30 pm

Absolutely — all good causes, Young@heart. Thanks for encouraging us to give what we can, where we can, when we can, and to help our neighbors too.

Young@heart

September 21st, 2010
1:35 pm

Thank You HB

mom of 3

September 21st, 2010
4:08 pm

Not saying I don’t have pity and want to help. Saying go to inner city of Atlanta and see how many kids are starving. Just a firm believer that charity begins at home. Go to the Atlanta mission and see how many moms and children they feed and ask how many they think they miss. Just because the AJC doesn’t post pictures of Atl children in need doesn’t mean they don’t exist. It’s just easier to think they are not close to you.

motherjanegoose

September 21st, 2010
4:34 pm

I am sad for any child who is starving. I am sure my dog eats better than many of these children. I am also confused as to which would be the best way to help those with no food. Is sending $$$ the best answer?

catlady is correct, many times, we make contributions here based on what we see in our arena. While I have not been to Pakistan, I have seen such a contrast of beliefs and opinions just across in the United States. Reminds me of THE POISONWOOD BIBLE by Barbara Kingsolver. My son read this in HS and I picked it up too.

JATL

September 21st, 2010
4:54 pm

@MJG -that one would be a good Momania book club pick too! Poisonwood Bible is in my top 10 all time favorite novels. I know in the past we have sent actual food to regions in need, but I guess it depends on logistics and what the receiving government will allow. I had much rather see actual food being handed over to people in the flood damaged areas than money just sent to Pakistani government bureaus.

Kat

September 21st, 2010
4:56 pm

They hand over Osama bin Laden, and I will donate money to the non-corrupt portion of their government. Or is it all corrupt?

SJ

September 21st, 2010
6:41 pm

I wouldn’t give money to the Pakistan government. Agreed regarding the trustworthiness (or not) of that regime. However, Doctors Without Borders does wonderful work, and a high percentage of donations is actually used for charitable purposes. I can’t stand seeing these children starving. I don’t care what their parents do, or what their government does. They deserve better. I will donate to DWB today. And yes, I also donate at home and am actively involved in supporting children in foster care. However, I am fortunate enough to be in a position to help both.

HB

September 21st, 2010
9:19 pm

It’s best to give money to a reputable organization that already has a presence in the country so they can buy exactly what they see people need. Sending food collected from donors from this far often is not the most efficient way of getting it there, plus the money may buy more if the food and other basic supplies like building materials are purchased in bulk from a country in the region with lower prices and a shorter distance to ship.

deidre_NC

September 21st, 2010
9:57 pm

@from outside the US ….god bless you…

deidre_NC

September 21st, 2010
10:20 pm

@HB…JATL…Catlady etc….yall all said exactly what i would have said, so im not going to repeat it. im glad to see others realize that we cant compare our lives to 3rd world countries. Doctors Without Borders and Samaritans Purse are 2 good places to donate. im sure there are more, bit i have researched these and they seem to have a higher rate of money spent on actual help. as someone said (i think JATL)..i would much rather be homeless here than a mother in one of these countries. do some research and see, even the homeless here have many more resources. as many food banks as there are no one has to starve here. kids at school can get free breakfast and lunch…one day of our school’s per child food allotment would probably feel a lot of kids there. and there are the organizations who send a back pack home on fridays with some children full of food so they dont go hungry when school is out. have some compassion to those who are so much less unfortunate that we really cant even imagine it if we havent seen it.

motherjanegoose

September 21st, 2010
10:24 pm

JATL it has been years since I read it but I really learned a lot. I just finished THE HELP and hope to be able to discuss it on this blog. I am in Florida now and mostly on the road. Snow last week and ocean now…hope I do not get sick!

LongtimeEducator

September 21st, 2010
10:55 pm

Regarding “just say no” to sex and other ideas of birth control…women in this part of the world have no voice. Please read A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini to get an idea of what these women are up against.

Jeff

September 22nd, 2010
7:23 am

Looks like we need to revise the topic of why men cheat. Plenty of examples here of callous women who are NOT in a marriage/relationship for the union of two people. You make me sick and are damaging the relationships between men and women in general and the potential individual relationships that will not happen because of the cynicism you help create. But, hey, I’m sure you feel empowered that you were able to voice your opinion.

HB

September 22nd, 2010
8:22 am

Jeff, I’m honestly confused by your comment. Please explain what people have said here to make you think that.

Jeff

September 22nd, 2010
8:33 am

See Young@heart 10:32. Maybe I should have addressed it to one particular line (even though there is more than one that goes in that direction) but that is a very sensitive subject for me.

Becky

September 22nd, 2010
2:54 pm

@Jeff..So because we have the gumption to say no to a man without risking our lives, you think that is why men cheat? If you think that just because a woman isn’t in the mood when you are that we are damaging relationships between men and women,then you might need to go live in a 3rd world country..

Jeff

September 22nd, 2010
3:54 pm

I’m specifically talking about the callousness with which the disregard for the husband was shown. Husbands who verbalize that same lack of decorum about their unwillingness to do things for their wives they don’t want to do are generally thought of as jack*sses and rightfully so.