About “Beyond the Rows”

Beyond the Rows is a Monsanto Company blog focused on one of the world’s most important industries, agriculture. Monsanto employees write about Monsanto’s business, the agriculture industry, and the farmer.
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Drought and The Horn of Africa: The Need is Great

Nobel Peace Prize and father of the Green Revolution Norman Borlaug often talked about what he called the “traveling geography of hunger.” Fueled by a drought called the worst in 60 years, hunger has moved to the geographies in the Horn of Africa. Drought and famine in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia have left more than 13 million people in desperate need and claimed the lives of tens of thousands.

The situation begs for attention and the world has been responding.

Organizations like the International Red Cross, the World Food Program and Catholic Relief Services, among countless others, have been at work for months, feeding people and providing relief and assistance.

Companies and other private groups are helping too. Organizations such as the IKEA Foundation, British Airways, Coca-Cola, Bayer, UPS and many more have contributed money and services.

Relief experts have said that aid, specifically food and humanitarian aid, is essential and needed now. But they also point to longer term projects that are needed to help get the region back on its feet, agricultural needs like irrigation, education and community-based gardens, and basic infrastructure needs like sanitation, clean drinking water and other services.

Here at Monsanto we’re looking at both areas: How can we help in the short-term, like our contribution to the Kenya Red Cross, and what can we do to help fund longer term projects too.

The severity of the problem calls for as broad as participation as possible. No one sector, company, government or NGO can do it alone. And it will take sustained efforts long after the rains have provided initial relief.

We’re glad to help today and we’ll continue to look at how we might help more in the future, too. We plan to continue discussing this topic here in future posts to raise awareness online and keep the issue at the forefront to help farm families, the people and children of the Horn of Africa.

Photograph: Kenya Red Cross

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