Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Israel, China, Kosovo, Europe, Kuwait, and more recently Scotland; these are all countries we hear a lot about in the news (and with good reason). But Africa? Not that often. Not really. Not considering the poverty, war and human rights crisis that continually plague that continent. Recently, religious leaders in Africa have called on Western countries to step up their support for African countries. Read here to find out more about this appeal.

If you’ve seen the movie, Hotel Rwanda, you know of how the US shamefully did not come to the aid of the Rwandan people during a horrific “ethnic cleansing” of the Tutsi by the Hutu peoples of that country. By the time the slaughter was over, over 1 million innocent souls had been literally hacked to death by machetes!

Yes, the US and other Western countries do provide some aid to impoverished African countries, but considering the enormity of the situation in the continent, it falls far to short. I am also aware that the political climate in many African countries makes giving aid almost impossible due to corruption in the governments of those countries, but there is so much more that us highly developed countries could do for Africa.

The conflict in Darfur is another example of the failure that Western countries have demonstrated related to the African peoples. As a result of the complicated conflict that racks this region, it has been estimated that upwards of 300,000 people have died and this is not to mention that thousand of Sudanese who are now without homes!

Of course we have heard of the AIDS epidemic in Africa. And there is also a high infant mortality rate and thousands die each year from Malaria; a disease that has long been extinguished in the US and other Western countries. And I hardly need to mention the poverty and starvation that kills thousands each year in Africa due to drought and famine.

You may be asking, why does the US always have to come to the aid of other countries, we’ve remedied our own problems, why can’t they fix themselves? Well, I would challenge you to think about how we run to the aid of Middle Eastern countries when they are in crisis. Or how we waste millions of dollars every year on wasteful programs in our own country. (not saying that we should ignore the problems here at home). I also believe that as a nation that is blessed with financial resources we should wisely use those resources to help other countries that are less fortunate.

Like I’ve already said, the issues here are complicated, and the US already gives aid to Africa, but I am challenging you to think of this continent in a new and dynamic way. The US invaded Iraq in the name of terrorism, but would not the genocide in Darfur be considered terrorism upon the people there? Or what happened in Rwanda; was that not terror for the Tutsi people who were brutally killed by machetes? Is this not a double standard? I admit that I do not have all the answers, but I would challenge you to rethink our responsibility to the continent of Africa and how the US responds worldwide to other countries. Thanks for reading!