Solutions that bring about long term change (Google / Vienna Times)

Read at : Google Alert – images of the Africa Drought

Red Cross Thinking Long Term in East Africa

President of the Austria for Africa Association John Morris looks at the crisis in Africa and asks what can be done in this special report.


Last week in London, Marieme Jamme of the Africa Gathering organization led a leading group of specialists to discuss the crisis. Africa Gathering supports short and long term actions in Africa and wants to see solutions that bring about long term change.

Austria’s Red Cross believes there are solutions and is acting. I contacted Dr Wolfgang Kopetzky, General Secretary of the Austrian Red Cross and he explained that Austrian Red Cross has been highly active in East Africa for many years. Responsible for Austrian Red Cross work in East Africa is Walter Hajek. Walter Hajek pictured a Red Cross that acts as a serious player trying to bring about long term solutions in the region. Austrians support water sanitation projects and assist relief in the short term but the Austrian Red Cross with its partners in Ethiopia and Kenya are focusing on sustainable projects to help prevent future famines and disasters.

OXFAM International is likewise targeting short term and long term actions in a bold move to bring about sustainable development. OXFAM is facilitating immediate relief and also focusing on longer term preventative projects.

But why hasn’t this prevented the current crisis? Why despite this knowledge and aims to assist with long term preventative measures are we now experiencing the worst famine in living memory?
Journalist colleague Andrew Harding and I believe there are 10 drivers for the current disaster affecting Somalia and the rest of the Horn of Africa:



Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

%d bloggers like this: