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Actress Kristin Davis Breaks Down Over Conditions in Somalia

Actress Kristin Davis Breaks Down Over Conditions in Somalia

Actress Kristin Davis, best known for her role as Charlotte on HBO’s Sex and the City, broke down in tears on live TV while describing her visit to a refugee camp in Kenya.  The camp is housing hundreds of thousands of refugees from drought-stricken Somalia, which is fast becoming one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.

Refugees are pouring over the borders to Kenya and Ethiopia, but many more are trapped in Somalia by violent conflicts, which are also keeping aid organizations from sending help.  And the camps are filling up as fast as they are opened.  Kenya is also reluctant to open more camps, lest the refugees stay in the country.

In her work as an Oxfam ambassador, Davis visited a Kenyan refugee camp, where she saw the devastation first-hand.

“We were really unprepared for how shocking it is,” she told the BBC.  As she began to cry, she added,  ”I’m sorry, this story is a hard story. This woman can’t walk so she came from Somalia on a cart with a donkey. She started with five children and now she just has three. Her husband was killed along the way and [she lost] everything she owned.”

Reading the stories about conditions in Somalia, it’s easy to understand why she wouldn’t be able to talk about her trip without breaking down.  In another BBC news article, Anne Mawathe tells just a few of the refugees’ stories.  One woman left her child on the road because he was too weak to finish the journey to Kenya.  ”His eyes still haunt me to this day,” she said.

Another woman gave birth about 80 km (50 miles) away from the Kenyan border town that she and her family were trying to reach.  ”Since I delivered, I haven’t eaten a thing,” she told the BBC.

The militant group in control of Somalia, al-Shabab, previously refused to allow aid groups into the country because they were deemed anti-Muslim.  But now they are welcoming any assistance they can get.  The problem is that the United States is not stepping up as a leader in the struggle to save the hundreds of thousands of desperate refugees.

In an interview with NPR, Jeremy Konyndyk, the co-director of policy and advocacy for the global aid agency Mercy Corps, said, “[if] U.S. assistance is not there, [the new aid presence] will make a difference, but not enough of a difference. The U.S. is the largest donor of global food aid. And when the U.S. doesn’t contribute robustly to a response, there aren’t too many other donors in the world who can pick up that slack.”

One of the issues, for the United States, is that they don’t want to finance militant organizations like al-Shabab.  But the State Department could also request a humanitarian exemption from the Treasury Department, instead of allowing Somalia to suffer on its own.  Why aren’t we stepping up to avert this ongoing tragedy?  Sign the Care2 petition, telling President Obama’s administration to send more aid to Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia.

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Photo from expertinfantry via flickr.

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54 comments

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12:53PM PDT on Aug 1, 2011

If people help, make sure they donate thru a reliable organization

9:45AM PDT on Jul 30, 2011

To Mara C.:
"I think it's time for other countries to step up to the plate. We can't take care of the world when we cannot take care of our own. There are cuts to medicaid for low income families, Social Security checks have not changed in 2 years, etc. We cannot afford to go into more debt to feed the world. I agree that these people need help, ASAP, but someone else should help this time!"

What on earth made you believe that the US is the only country helping other countries? Are you truly so ignorant, or is it arrogance? I see it time after time: "Why do WE have to help, why don't OTHERS give?" Let me enlighten you. OTHER COUNTRIES GIVE HIGHER AMOUNTS IN FINANCIAL AID THAN THE US. Always have and always will. Sorry to burst your bubble.

Mildred D.
VT.

5:34AM PDT on Jul 21, 2011

Leticia A., as far as I know, it makes one look good;. and in hopes, maybe they will return and help in our time in need, or perhaps they will adopt a culture of helping others.

you help out a stranger being bullyed, harassed, kicked.
you drop everything and help someone else.

for all our bad doings, Human species is surprisingly altruistic.

or the USA is nosey?
or want to play good guy?

perhaps repent for what it did to the Indigenous people?

4:40PM PDT on Jul 19, 2011

The globalists are the cause of these problems. The desire for world government and securing oil, mineral and other naturals resources is entirely to blame.

The objectives are to steal everything and install a weak and evil leadership that will do as it's told for a few crumbs of their master's table while continuing to sell out everything to the globalists.

Anyone that opposes this is labelled a terrorist and war is waged upon them with US funding and weapons. Meanwhile the US population or working and middle class must 'tighten their belts' and do without pensions and health care etc.

Just like almost every other war, revolution and military takeover in the last 200 years.

3:55PM PDT on Jul 19, 2011

This is the time to address root causes: we know that people are fleeing across territories controlled by warlords who demand bribes before they let the exodus continue ... but what started this process? It needs to be reported on and dealt with, insofar as the international community can.

9:09PM PDT on Jul 16, 2011

I cannot believe that in times like these, when the U.S. is in need itself, more aid should be sent to other countries?? Whatever happened to our own country, why are citizens not supporting their own country? For goodness sakes, we have ENOUGH poverty and unemployment and misery in the U.S., on top of our country being bankrupt, and people losing everything! Is everyone gone insane? Money needs to stay here, in the U.S., for its own citizens! Period!

6:37PM PDT on Jul 14, 2011

Al-Shabab won't let USAID in because it's part of the State Dept., and they are afraid it will 'undermine' their rule.

Shabab is a Takfir brand of extremism like Al-Qaeda or the extreme Taliban (e.g. Hekmatyar); they justify killing innocents, other Muslims, anyone. It's these kind of people who have murdered millions of people in Bosnia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Algeria, Yemen, Chechnya, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Pakistan, East Africa and oh yes the U.S.

1:34PM PDT on Jul 14, 2011

Everyone who can should send aid to these poor folks. Send it through a proper agency so that it reaches those in real need.

1:24PM PDT on Jul 14, 2011

I think it's time for other countries to step up to the plate. We can't take care of the world when we cannot take care of our own. There are cuts to medicaid for low income families, Social Security checks have not changed in 2 years, etc. We cannot afford to go into more debt to feed the world. I agree that these people need help, ASAP, but someone else should help this time!

9:05AM PDT on Jul 14, 2011

People who need help, just need help. Instead of complaining about helping other countries you should stop to reflect on how good we have it in the US and be willing to help those in such desperate circumstances.

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