Abdo, aged 4, with his uncle Yahya in Al Sadaqah hospital. Abdo passed away on December 3, 2020 from the effects of severe acute malnutrition. (Courtesy of Giles Clarke/U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs)
Mickey Z. — World News Trust
January 6, 2021
I have a close friend who has worked for decades as a humanitarian photojournalist. He’s a humble man and thus, would prefer I not directly name him in this article. Even during the pandemic, my friend regularly travels to places few of us would dare go — places some of us don’t even know exist. He has been an eye-witness to situations that most people would avoid at all costs. With his camera and his courage, he documents such atrocities and shares what he finds in the hope of creating change… or, at least, some short-term relief in the here and now. You can see some of his most recent images in this recent article. I strongly urge you to read and share it. (hold that thought)
When all is said and done, we will likely recognize that the collective toll of the piecemeal lockdown was far greater than the virus itself. But that’s for a future article. Right now, we in the richer, industrialized nations have suffered greatly — our physical, mental, and financial health under assault for 10 months and counting. These are valid and frightening concerns that should never be downplayed. I know this firsthand.
However, I want to share with you a little of what I learned from the article mentioned above and from other sources. I feel it’s essential for us to comprehend what the rest of the world is struggling with — especially if you're an American taxpayer. At this very moment, as you read these words, the global pandemic lockdowns are exacting a terrible toll on the Third World, for example:
According to a study published in the Nature Research Journal, by 2022, COVID-19 lockdowns could result in:
Information like this frequently causes one’s eyes to glaze over. It’s too big, what can I do? You may even find yourself wondering what it all has to do with you. Let me first respond to such a common yet understandable reaction by saying what it has “to do” with us is all about compassion and human decency. Turning away our eyes from suffering is never the moral option — regardless of who you voted for, what news channel you watch, or what god you choose to worship.
Also, if you’re an American taxpayer, you are not an innocent bystander. We are directly and indirectly funding much of the nightmare detailed above and thus, we can and must play a role in challenging it. Here are two simple steps you can take today:
1. Ground zero for food insecurity, income deprivation, and acute malnutrition is Yemen (from which my friend just returned). During the 2020 campaign, President-elect Joe Biden pledged he would immediately sign executive orders to:
With the stroke of a pen, these two acts would dramatically shift the prospects for the people of Yemen. Each of you can put aside ideology, indifference, or inertia, and play a small role in literally saving the lives of millions of innocent Yemeni children. Their lives matter, too.
Reach out to Biden now and urge him to keep his promises:
2. Take another good look at the photo up top. Abdo, tragically, is gone. But you can help fund the crucial work of Dr. Aida Al Sadeeq at Sadaqa hospital in South Yemen and Nurse Mekkia Mahdi's work at Aslam clinic in North Yemen. Donations made HERE will directly support these healthcare workers and their efforts to provide vital care to children facing extreme malnutrition in Yemen.
Each of these two steps will take about five minutes of your time. Do it now and please spread the word. What a powerful way to begin a new year, huh?
Mickey Z. can be found here. He is also the founder of Helping Homeless Women - NYC, offering direct relief to women on the streets of New York City. To help him grow this project, CLICK HERE and make a donation right now. And please spread the word!