Marley and The Wailers Join Race to Help East Africa
Famine in East Africa.
August 9, 2011: Bob Marley & The Wailers’ 1973 track, High Tide or Low Tide, has been re-released as a download together with a powerful film to help raise awareness and much needed funds for the desperate situation in East Africa. There millions of lives are threatened through starvation and lack of water. Simon Fuller, Chris Blackwell and the Bob Marley Estate have approved the release to raise funds for Save The Children and the East Africa famine. Along with Lucian Grainge and Universal Music, they are donating their proceeds to the cause.
Rita Marley, Bob’s widow, said (for “Save the Children”), “Not one child should be denied food nor water. Not one child should suffer. Along with Save the Children, we [must] stand up together as friends to put a stop to this, to feed our children and to save their lives.”
A famine is occurring in several regions in, what is known as, the Horn of Africa as a result of a severe drought that is affecting the entire Eastern Africa region. The drought is said to be “the worst in 60 years.” It has caused a severe food crisis across Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya that threatens the lives of more than 12 million people. Other countries in and around the Horn of Africa, including Djibouti, Sudan, South Sudan and parts of Uganda, are also affected by the food crisis.
Weather conditions over the Pacific have interrupted seasonal rains for two consecutive seasons. In many areas, the precipitation rate during the main rainy season from April to June, their primary season, was less than 30% of the average of 1995-2010. The lack of rain led to crop failure and widespread loss of livestock, as high as 40%-60% in some areas. Cereal prices have been pushed to record levels while livestock prices and wages have fallen, reducing purchasing power across the region. Rains are not expected to return until September. The crisis is compounded by rebel activity around southern Somalia from the Al-Shabaab group.
On July 20, 2011, the United Nations officially declared a famine in two regions of southern Somalia. This is the first time a famine has been declared by the UN in nearly thirty years. Tens of thousands of people are believed to have died, in southern Somalia alone, before the famine was declared. On August 3, the UN declared famine in three other regions of southern Somalia, citing worsening conditions and inadequate humanitarian response. Famine is expected to spread across all regions of the south in the coming four to six weeks. The UN has conducted several airlifts of supplies in addition to on-the-ground assistance, but humanitarian response to the crisis have been hindered by a severe lack of funding for international aid coupled with security issues in the region.
Kevin Macdonald, director of “Last King of Scotland” and the Bob Marley documentary “Marley”, has created a short film with dramatic footage taken from East Africa last week with the “High Tide or Low Tide” track laid over the top.Today, August 9, this one-minute film will be released to a huge global audience of over 100 million people through Facebook, iTunes, Yahoo, Twitter and other social media partners.
It is hoped this innovative viral campaign will help tackle the first famine of the 21st century, and the incredible power and reach of social networks can be harnessed to affect real change.
Brought to you by: Another break from the poetry
Sources: YouTube, Save The Children and the East Africa Famine