Bigotry: The Dark Danger

Unlocking Africa’s Potential

The giant continent of Africa boasts great natural riches from deserts to tropical rain forests. Here you can see animals you can't find anywhere else in the world, you can find all kinds of fruits, rich underground resources and rivers that spread abundance.

Despite this fact- if we are to ignore some nature documentaries - Africa is always on the world agenda with reports of disasters. News about terrorist acts, crimes, human rights violations, refugees, natural disasters and starvation are virtually identified with the Dark Continent.

For instance, one of the latest news reports points out that 800,000 children in the Chad Lake region are suffering from poor nutrition. According to the report, about 800,000 children under the age of five in Chad Lake region are faced with malnutrition. Of these children, 450,000 are in Nigeria, 247,000 are in Niger, 63,000 are in Cameroon and 22,000 are in Chad.

Humanitarian aid still cannot reach major areas in the region. 57% of the $2.2 billion needed in 2017 for relieving the crisis still hasn't reached those in need. The countries in the region are struggling with the attacks of terrorist organizations, such as Boko Haram, as well as drought and hunger.

In another news report, it is stated that doctors in Nigeria have decided to go on an indefinite strike due to unpaid wages, poor working conditions and no investment in the health sector.

There are also reports that do not find a place on the world agenda at all. For example, in Southern Sudan, which has a population of about 12 million, some four million people have been forced to leave their homes due to civil war. On top of that, more than half of the refugees are children. Due to the conflicts in the region, food crisis and infectious diseases are spreading more and more in the region. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) announced in its humanitarian aid report last month that an ongoing malaria epidemic has killed more than 4,000 people since February.

In fact, many countries and international organizations are putting in a great deal of effort to prevent the disasters experienced in Africa. However, if we look at the results, it is clear that this aid is insufficient in solving the problems. At this point, it is possible to categorize the reasons for the inability to solve these problems under two groups. The first one, as can be noticed by anyone following the developments in Africa, is the reasons concerning the nature of the aid. Many complain that the amount of aid, and the distribution are inadequate. For example, it is a common occurrence that a large number of people continue to stay in a non-agricultural area and the amount of aid they receive remains inadequate compared to their numbers.

For instance, the hunger in Somalia is mainly caused by the problem of water and civil war. However, it is 100 times more likely to find water underground than it is to find it above ground. Somalia is a country that has underground rivers. It is possible to create agricultural land by opening water wells. For this, the area must be provided with drilling equipment and the agricultural efforts must be well planned.

It is possible to solve this problem by forming centralized aid organizations with the support of the African Union and under the UN umbrella. Such a large-scale organization can also help prevent the relief efforts from being politicized. All too often, even on the subject of providing aid, if two leaders, two ethnic groups or members of two different religions are in conflict, the Western countries prefer to help those who are closer to themselves. In order to avoid this, it is necessary to collect all the aid in a pool; the aid needs to be used for a permanent solution, and the aid needs to be distributed by the headquarters which has representatives and supervisors in the regions in question.

Private organizations or states should be able to continue their relief efforts to the regions but the supervision and the follow-up of this aid should be carried out by centralized and independent organizations. The controllable nature of such an organization by the members of the UN can ensure the neutrality of the aid. In humanitarian aid organizations, the non-existence of extra privileges, such as the veto power of various political elements, is vital. If this can be achieved, the likelihood of deadlocks or political misconduct will undoubtedly be less.

No doubt, the disasters in Africa are not all natural; many of them are caused by regional conflicts. For example, in southern Sudan, the reason why refugees suffer from hunger and diseases has actually nothing to do with drought.

World Food Program coordinator Joyce Luma made it clear that "this scarcity is human-induced." Almost entire population in the region is farmers and due to the conflicts that have taken place here, farmers have essentially had to abandon the region. During this time, people have been struggling to survive for months with whatever vegetables they can find and with the fish they can catch.

These people can be settled in UN-secured territories and provided with the necessary equipment for their livelihoods by fishing or farming. A project is currently under way in the region to prevent livestock deaths by vaccinating the sheep and the goats. However, no matter the aid, all will remain inadequate if there is no peace and security.

It should not be forgotten that the real cause of this tragedy in Africa is different interest groups' struggle to gain power and resources. If this ambition can be prevented, Africa will no longer be a needy continent. Moreover, it will become the world's number one humanitarian aid center. For this to happen, the good must ally against the interest groups. The ambition of self-seeking groups to exploit the poor can only be stopped in this way. 

Adnan Oktar's piece in American Herald Tribune (USA):

https://ahtribune.com/world/africa/1934-unlocking-africa-potential.html

2017-10-04 23:42:16

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