At the Social Good Summit yesterday, USAID Administrator Raj Shah launched a new social media/open government campaign to encourage public engagement with the horn of Africa crisis. USAID is calling this USAID/FWD–with F W D standing for Famine, War, and Drought.
The campaign hopes to spur public engagement with the famine in Somalia and Horn of Africa drought crisis by giving the public easy tools to get involved (and donate). The page offers some basic information about the crisis, but also and very in depth facts (like current market food prices in Mogadishu) which can be accessed via interactive maps updated on the website daily. Here’s one such map showing how food prices have shot up in recent months as the drought and famine have struck parts of Somalia.
USAID/FWD also includes this infographic from the Ad Council
Behind those figures is the starting statistic. Last week, the UN warned that 750,000 people could die if assistance is not scaled up. At a small press briefing yesterday, USAID Administrator Raj Shah explained how that number was reached:
“A famine means 30% acute severe malnutrition rate. 3/10 in population children die everyday. The famine has been localized to those parts of Somalia where access has been impeded and food convoys are attacked,” says Shah. “In the next four months as it rains, there will be a spread of cholera and rotavirus. That is where these big numbers come from. We need to do everything we can to get this kids vaccination, use cash vouchers…. There is no reason for [all these people do die.]“
So, if that makes you mad…USAID/FWD gives you an outlet to channel your anger.