Irish Examiner view: We can't look away from Afghan famine

Ireland cannot stand by as the benighted country risks tumbling into further crisis, with a million children at risk of starvation
Irish Examiner view: We can't look away from Afghan famine

An Afghan child is examined by Nazo, a local International Red Cross/Red Crescent community health volunteer as the country teeters on the brink of famine. Picture: Disasters Emergency Committee/PA

As famine moves across the lands of Afghanistan, it is dispiriting to note that one of the priorities of the Taliban is the beheading of shop mannequins because they offend one of the tenets of Islam concerning the “worshipping of statues”.

In a week where a Government minister has been fretting about the levels of philanthropic donations within Ireland compared to other countries, there must be genuine concern about how we in the western world are going to respond to the humanitarian disaster which appears to be unfolding in the Hindu Kush of South Central Asia.

While it is convenient to suggest that people can only be helped if they are willing to help themselves, it is inevitable that we will have to assist. Otherwise, as former British prime minister Gordon Brown said this week, we will be “sleepwalking” into the biggest crisis of our times, with more than half of that benighted country’s population facing extreme hunger and 1m children at risk of starving to death.

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