The global grassroots advocacy organization ONE recently unveiled a new PSA titled, “The F Word: Famine is the Real Obscenity,” to bring awareness to the growing famine in Somalia that has already taken the lives of more than 30,000 children in just three months.
The worst drought in 60 years has caused a severe food crisis that is threatening the livelihood of more than 12 million people in the broader Horn of Africa (United Nations OCHA). While the drought was not preventable, the famine is the result of a tragic combination of factors that are man-made, including abnormally high food prices, lack of governance and security in Somalia, and a historic lack of investment in long-term agricultural development in the Horn.
“The F Word: Famine is the Real Obscenity” has brought together celebrities, and well-known leaders from politics and the media, including ONE’s co-founder and U2 lead singer Bono, Somali-born singer and poet K’naan, FOX News host and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former first lady Barbara Bush, George Clooney, Jessica Alba, Kristin Davis, Joe Jonas, Annie Lennox, and Matthew Morrison (among others).
The PSA is set to launch across many digital platforms and broadcast networks, including AOL, MTV, Huffington Post, Facebook, Discovery, SpikeTV, and YouTube. The group hopes that viewers will be inspired to learn more about the crisis and what they can do to help.
The PSA is part of a larger campaign by ONE to “build support for long-term strategies that will help end the cycle of famine once and for all,” through top-level political lobbying, grassroots efforts in the U.S., social media campaigns, and collaboration among more than 50 leading African artists, musicians and businesspeople. Specifically, ONE’s new global campaign calls for the G8, G20, and African Governments to:
- Urgently fill the $650 million financing gap for emergency assistance in the Horn of Africa and ensure that all those in need are reached. In the case of Somalia, greater regional and international political will is required to support an inclusive multi-stakeholder process – including a prominent voice for Somali civil society – that conclusively addresses the underlying causes of insecurity.
- To live up to their 2009 L’Aquila commitment to invest $22 billion in agriculture and for African governments to fulfil their Maputo pledge to spend 10% of their national budgets on agriculture.
- Invest in longer-term agriculture and food security programs to stop the cycle of extreme hunger, such as the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative and The Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme.