Countries in Africa are currently experiencing the worst humanitarian crisis the world has seen since WWII. Yet, few Americans have even heard about it.
Cue actor George Clooney.
In a recent video for the Global Emergency Response Coalition, Clooney urged Americans to donate to the campaign to support the estimated 20 million people facing starvation.
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An alliance of eight of the world’s largest US-based aid organizations formed the Global Emergency Response Coalition in April of 2017. Together they are working to deliver life-saving aid to the millions of children and families in need.
“Americans are the most generous people on the planet. Helping others in ingrained in our spirit. It’s who we are,” Clooney said in the video.
The Global Emergency Response Coalition campaign asks Americans to donate money so the coalition can provide relief to people in Nigeria, Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and other neighboring countries where hunger is growing.
The PepsiCo Foundation and BlackRock have pledged to match funds up to $1 million a piece.
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The campaign comes as a crucial time.
In June, the UN requested $6.1 billion in food aid to address famine, but only 36% has been pledged, including $639 million pledged by the Trump Administration at the G20 summit in Hamburg earlier this month.
"We're in a dire situation right now," Rob Jenkins, acting head of the USAID’s bureau of democracy, told Reuters of the incipient hunger crisis in neighboring Ethiopia.
Ethiopia has not yet reached the famine experienced in the four major countries in the Horn of Africa, but the Famine Early Warning Systems Network predicts conditions will only worsen there and in other neighboring countries.
“In 2011, during a similar multi-country food shortage crisis, the international community failed to act in time and 258,000 people died in Somalia alone. More than half were children. We cannot let this happen again,” the Coalition wrote in their call for donations.
The Coalition warns that 1.4 million children face “imminent death” from the famine in Africa and Yemen, where currently one child dies every 10 minutes.
Clooney, recently the father of twins, is well known for his humanitarian work through his program Not On Our Watch, which draws attention to the genocide in Sudan. He and his wife Amal Clooney, a famous human rights lawyer, cofounded the Clooney Foundation for Justice (CFJ) last year, which focuses on the Syrian refugee crisis.
In a longer version of the video for the Coalition, Clooney called on Americans to support the campaign by donating.
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Donations to the Coalition will be divided equally among the eight humanitarian organizations: CARE, International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, Oxfam, Plan International, Save the Children and World Vision.
The Coalition also pledged to keep donors informed on the crisis through funding updates and alert them of similar humanitarian programs.
“By giving we can inspire hope where hope is lost and make the world a better place,” Clooney said.