DEC Chief Executive Brendan Gormley said: “Slowly but surely, these people have seen their lives fall apart – crops, livestock and now their homes have been taken by the drought. They’ve been left with no alternative but to seek shelter and life-saving help elsewhere. We have a duty to help quickly before the situation spirals out of control.”
Large areas of Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia are affected and the DEC appeal will also include South Sudan – set to become the world’s newest country on July 9.
More than 1,300 people a day, the majority of them children, are arriving in the Dadaab refugee camp in eastern Kenya near the border with Somalia.
The Dadaab camp was already the world’s largest refugee camp with a population of 350,000 – larger than the city of Leicester.
“Of course these people need a long-term solution with investment and political will – but right now it’s about preventing a tragedy,” said Mr Gormley."Many of these are a forgotten people, caught in the midst of conflict in Somalia and an ever-worsening environmental crisis.”
Against the background of the one sordid and the other shocking news stories, I'm reluctant to blog about the mundane events of my life. I feel like one of those "petty men" whom Cassius described. Come to think of it, he could have been talking about Rupert Murdoch, couldn't he? Picture Ed Miliband as Cassius and David Cameron as Brutus, in PMQs:
|Artist's impression of the Colossus|
Like a Colossus; and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs, and peep about
To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
Men at some time are masters of the fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings." The interesting question is whether any of our politicians is willing to sever their links with the Colossus, and inflict "the unkindest cut of all". Of course their problem is what happened to Brutus and Cassius!
And, by the way, there was a good and thoughtful comment in Friday Night Theology headlined "How can I plan a holiday, now I know about this tragedy?" Helpful and worth a read.
However, I'm not a political blogger (much!), so back to my week. It's been busy, but my big event was being interviewed and filmed by Kirsty Hemming from BBC West. She's a producer for Inside Out West and is working on a programme to go out in the autumn at about the time Lord Falconer's "commission" brings out its "conclusions". She came here to see us on Thursday. She was very nice - but then good interviewers are! They need to set you at your ease.
my favourite coffee shop, Cornerstone, where she did a bit more filming. In the event very little of the tape will appear in the final programme, of course. Editing is the creative part of filming, which of course allows the editor to put a slant on the film. I suspect, however, that Kirsty will maintain a fair balance. On Monday we're off for another session of filming, with Tony Nicklinson, who has locked-in syndrome and wants the law on ending your life to be changed. He has to communicate using his computer. The idea is for us to discuss the pros and cons. I suspect that won't be easy in any way. But I hope we get on all right.