Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Crisis: Niger's Children Starving

I thought at the very least we should be made aware of this crisis...

This morning I checked, the DRUDGE Report, Google News and Aljazeera's English Web site and not even a mention of the "Children starving to death in Niger." Finally on the BBC News' Web site, at the very bottom of the stories, there was a link to a series of reports. The only way I got tipped off to the story was that BBS News, much to their credit, featured it on their BBC World News program last night.

Shouldn't this crisis be on the front pages?

Sky News reports, "More than three million people, including almost a million children, face starvation if the world continues to ignore the worsening food crisis in Niger. A UN emergency flash appeal for the West African country was launched in May. It followed a locust invasion last year and lack of rain during the agricultural season that plunged nomadic herder and farming families into crisis."

The 2004 Tsunami Disaster, another recent natural occurrence, was covered in the media from head-to-toe for weeks. The official figures(Jun 27, 2005) put the global death toll from the tsunami at 180,355. The Niger crisis death toll could potentially go much higher and events are already unfolding -- it's a tsunami crisis happening in slow motion.

So where's the coverage? The truth is that the Niger story isn't as exciting as a good ol' tsunami and so what, it's just Africa. FOX News declares, "War-induced hunger and disease have killed more than 180,000 people and driven more than 2 million from their homes in Darfur." This on-going story also barely makes the front pages and when it does, it's only for a day.

Do we have to wait 'till it's too late to get the "starving Niger children" story on the front page? Yes... we'll have to wait!


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