Washington, DC (September 19, 2011)
— Christian humanitarian organization World Vision
today expressed strong support for a new public awareness campaign
for the Horn of Africa drought, launched by USAID and the Ad Council.
“USAID and the Ad Council's FWD campaign comes at a key time, as aid agencies like World Vision continue to struggle to raise the funds we need to save lives,” said World Vision president Richard Stearns. “Compared to disasters like the quakes in Haiti or Japan, the awareness among Americans just isn’t there.”
World Vision warned of an impending crisis
in the Horn in early 2011, and has been responding
across Kenya, Ethiopia, in Somalia’s northern regions and in Somalia near the Ethiopia border
— both to save lives and help prevent the spread of famine further.
"Famine is not a word aid workers or the UN throw around lightly. It means hundreds, thousands are dying and are going to die if we don't do something," Stearns added. "This campaign will help get that urgent message out across America so that people can spread the word, donate, call their government officials, get involved. In an emergency, we need all hands on deck."
The FWD campaign is developing television, radio and Web ads featuring well-known actors and public figures, and will direct audiences to text "GIVE" to 777444 to donate $10 to a coalition of humanitarian organizations working in the Horn of Africa, including World Vision.
Meanwhile, World Vision has been warning the current budget debate in Congress could threaten disproportionate cuts
that would cripple America’s ability to save lives in the Horn of Africa and elsewhere
— namely cuts to the disaster response and refugee line items in the foreign aid budget, and to emergency food aid.
“With the FWD campaign, the Administration is sending a bold message to Americans to help save lives in the Horn of Africa, even while Congress is debating cutting life-saving food and emergency foreign aid to some of the same women and children," said Dr. Kent Hill, Senior Vice President of World Vision's International Programs.
"We all remember the Ethiopia famine in the ‘80s. Americans responded, and Ethiopia hasn’t seen famine conditions since. America
— and each of us individually
— needs to respond now, or Somali children will continue to die,” Hill added.
World Vision, together with its coalition partners American Refugee Committee
, Catholic Relief Services
, Mercy Corps
, Save the Children
, UNICEF USA
, and World Food Program USA
, further expressed support for the FWD Campaign with the following statement today:
We welcome this new public service campaign to alleviate suffering in the Horn of Africa and thank the United States Agency for International Development and the Ad Council for their leadership. Prominent leaders such as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Dr. Jill Biden, as well as high-profile celebrities, will draw Americans attention to a disaster that, just as it fades from headlines, is growing more tragic.
The campaign will show Americans the gravity of the crisis in the Horn of Africa, one whose deadly combination of famine, war and drought grows worse by the day and is expected to continue on for many months to come. Some 13 million people are affected, making it the largest humanitarian crisis in the world today. With numbers this large, widespread support is essential to respond to the immediate needs and plan for long-term relief.
As leading relief and development organizations with decades of experience working with families and communities in the Horn of Africa, we are eager to support this campaign, which will inspire more Americans to spread the word, call their government officials, and help stop more people from dying needlessly.
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To request an interview with a World Vision expert or learn more about the agency’s response in the Horn of Africa, please contact Rachel Wolff at 253.394.2214 or email@example.com. Visit www.worldvision.org/press.
About World Vision
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve the world's poor— regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.For more information on their efforts, visitWorldVision.org/press or follow them on Twitter at @WorldVisionNews