Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Top ten underreported humanitarian stories

Top ten underreported humanitarian stories

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) recently issued its annual list of the top ten underreported humanitarian stories for the most recent year.

They are:

-Congolese ravaged by war and disease

-Staggering needs, insecurity, and dismal response for Chechens living in fear

-Haiti's capital wracked by waves of violence

-No (research and development) for HIV/AIDS tools adapted to impoverished settings

-Clashes in northeastern India take a heavy toll on civilians

-War is officially over, but urgent needs go unmet in southern Sudan

-Somalis endure continuing conflict and deprivation

-Colombians trapped by violence and fear

-Insecurity worsens already desperate situation in northern Uganda

-Crisis deepening in Ivory Coast

There are many noble professions. Teacher. Diplomat. Social worker. Child advocate. Human rights activist. But the humanitarian worker is probably the profession I respect the most. Most people in the field for MSF and related organizations could easily be in a comfortable house in a comfortable town in the US or France or England or elsewhere. But they voluntarily choose to put themselves in some of the most dangerous situations in the world, often in conflicts where the belligerents don't distinguish between civilians, aid workers and combattants. They choose to put themselves in harm's way for the sole purpose of helping innocent victims of war, violence and other disasters. I can't help but admire this.

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