End war and famine in 2023

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Published: 1/5/2023 4:46:48 PM
Modified: 1/5/2023 4:43:49 PM

In 2023, everyone can be a voice for peace and support humanitarian aid for war victims in Ukraine, Yemen, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and many nations in desperate need. Lives depend on it as hunger has escalated because of the violence.

Many nations are at risk of famine in 2023. The U.N. World Food Program (WFP) warns “A total of 49 million people in 49 countries are teetering on the edge of famine.”

Children are the most impacted by the war and hunger. A December report from Save the Children says “The number of children needing humanitarian assistance rose more than 20% this year to 149 million.”

Diplomacy is needed to end conflicts so humanitarian aid can freely reach those in need. But there must also be enough funding for food and other life-saving aid. Gabriella Waaijman, humanitarian director of Save the Children, pleads “We need governments to act by scaling-up humanitarian diplomacy to end these crises and facilitate humanitarian assistance to those in need.”

Each of us can encourage elected officials to support humanitarian diplomacy and increase funding for food aid. In fact, it is our deep rooted tradition to support food and peace for conflict-torn nations.

After World War I officers of the American Relief Administration (ARA) were sent to Montenegro to save lives from starvation. The ARA officers used every means possible including using cables to swing food over destroyed bridges. Burrows and horses were also used to transport food to the hard-to-reach areas. The ARA officers and the animals had to carry the food on winding mountain roads on the edge of cliffs.

People in one of the starving areas in Montenegro believed they were doomed. That is until the ARA arrived. A report from the ARA officers to coordinator Herbert Hoover read, “What they said couldn’t be done we said could. And we did it! The people in this district are now happily eating American flour and pork. They have stopped digging graves and are, instead, planting their crops for this year’s harvest.”

Likewise in Latvia after WWI, the American Relief Administration brought food to the starving and also helped resolve conflicts among military forces occupying the country. None of this life-saving aid would have been possible without the support of the American people back home through donations and appropriations from Congress.

Your support of humanitarian aid makes a difference in saving lives and building peace around the globe.

Aid for Ukraine’s refugees is vital as millions have been displaced after Russian’s invasion. We must continue this support as we encourage peace.

As we speak there are people starving in conflict zones like Yemen, South Sudan, Syria and the D.R. of the Congo where the challenge is to get food to the hungry amid the chaos. But also there is the challenge to raise enough funding.

You can help relief agencies like the WFP, UNICEF, Save the Children, CARE, Mary’s Meals, Catholic Relief Services and others that feed war victims. You can write letters to Congress asking them to increase funding for the Food for Peace program and McGovern-Dole global school lunch initiative.

Each of us can be a voice for peace and a supporter of humanitarian aid that people desperately need worldwide.

William Lambers is the author of The Road to Peace and partnered with the U.N. World Food Program on the book Ending World Hunger. His writings have been published by the NY Times, Newsweek , History News Network, Chicago Sun Times and many other news outlets.


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