Eastern Congo

Jan Egeland, the United Nations Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, was on Charlie Rose tonight. He said that the situation in the Congo deserves the world’s attention, that it is the worst humanitarian disaster over the last 10 years, and that the “one disaster at a time” western focus on the tsunami damage will only make this worse.

UNICEF says:

In less than five years, an estimated 3.3 million people are thought to have been killed, the vast majority of them civilians.

I had no idea there was “a situation in the Congo.” Do I care about southeast Asia — and I do — because “there but for the grace of God go I,” whereas what’s happening in the Congo bears no relation to my life? Is it natural disaster vs. human disaster? I don’t know.


al o'neill's picture
al o'neill on January 4, 2005 - 11:10 Permalink

I think that’s why it would be perhaps better to give charitable contributions to a more general fund if one could than to a specific disaster relief fund, so that something like the Red Cross or MSF could use it for what they feel it’s needed most.

Rob L.'s picture
Rob L. on January 4, 2005 - 15:16 Permalink

Glenn Reynolds has done a great job keeping both Congo and Darfur situations in the blogosphere spotlight, for what that’s worth.
From what I know of the UN’s presence in the Congo, Egeland and Annan should start feeding their randy peacekeepers a little saltpeter if they’re serious about improving the situation.