Care International, Eritrea: Hungry and Out of reach


Another Martin Plaut (Flawed) Type Report by CARE Int’l

By Teweldeberhan Gebre

Recently, Care International (CARE) posted a so called report on hunger under the title “Suffering in Silence: The 10 most under-reported humanitarian crises of 2016”. Care International is a US based ‘humanitarian’ NGO. CARE in this report, ranked “the 10 most under-reported humanitarian crises for the year 2016” around the world. In doing so, CARE used the Meltwater Group monitoring data for ranking the countries included in this report according media coverage of their respective ‘least media attention’ on natural disasters or conflicts in 2016.  In their ranking below is their flawed methodology:

“More than 250,000 global online sources were monitored in English, French and German. To filter according to scale, we chose countries in which at least one million people have been affected by natural or man-made disasters. The result is a list of over 30 crises that we analyzed and ranked by the number of articles mentioning each, starting with the one that received the fewest [author’s emphasis].”

According to their ranking, out of the top 10 under-reported humanitarian crises in 2016, Eritrea’s food crisis is the least under-reported and least covered by the media. In its report about Eritrea CARE underlines that “Little is known about Eritrea, a country almost completely cut off from the outside world”. Its claim is that “Journalists and aid workers have no access to humanitarian data and many major aid organizations such as CARE International are not allowed to provide relief to affected people.” In its subtitle-Eritrea: Hungry and Out of reach, CARE tactically tries to confuse its followers by pointing out UN estimates that “about two million people are without adequate food supplies in this semi-arid country [Eritrea]” which is absolutely false reference. I followed the links to the UN estimates which landed me on  UNICEF’s website and there is no such thing which says “about two million people are without adequate food supplies in this semi-arid country” unless in another link. In fact, to the contrary, the said UN agency which is UNICEF claims that it has achieved results beyond targets in its nutritional and safe water interventions the years before. Another flaw of CARE is that it has deliberately misplaced hunger with famine.

Hunger is not inadequacy of food supplies. Hunger is ‘chronic undernourishment’ while famine is there’s no food or ways to create food, possibly even no way to buy food. In other words, it simply means food is not available. In Eritrea there is no such thing of famine although no one can deny the possibility of harsh undernourishment which is also reported by UNICEF in its 2017 appeal for the international community which amounts US$11,050,000 not for food aid but for nutrition, healthcare, water and sanitation, child protection, and education. UNICEF’s and its partners’ appeal is to reach “450,000 children under 5 provided with vitamin A supplementation, 100,000 children immunized against measles, and 50,000 children affected by acute watery diarrhea accessing life-saving curative interventions.” Its not a surprise appeal because even net food producer countries can suffer from acute malnutrition among children and mothers. Eritrea cannot be unique in this regard.

Although it is our duty in the long-run to address undernourishment among our children and mothers concerted international blackmailing is not acceptable. Thus, CARE’s report that “two million people are without adequate food supplies” is completely false according to the UNICEF’s appeal and is a smear campaign against the State of Eritrea. No one is ignorant that US NGOs are extensions of their government’s foreign intelligence make ups and tools of the US State Department.

Nevertheless, I want to ask few questions to madam CARE International’s report writers:

  1. Who can be the best source of reporting food and humanitarian crises if not the UN?
  2. Specifically, in reporting food crisis, UNICEF, FAO and WFP are the three trusted UN agencies anyone can rely on for trusted information on the issue.
  3. Who cares about CARE’s report and the white devil journalists alike?
  4. In today’s world one report/news reported from elsewhere is viral across the hundreds of medias although the source is in many cases one. Does this mean anything mathematically?
  5. How many media outlets reported UNICEF recent appeal for assisting Eritrea get reported by the so called media? Is this Eritrea’s problem or the media’s?

UNICEF’s involvement across Eritrea through vitamin A supplementation and clean water and hygiene is universal and free iron tables is provided by the government in areas know for low iron diets such as the Red Sea regions. See World Bank’s documentary on One Childhood-precious and healthy.  According to the documentary Eritrea is the only country that integrated education and healthcare using teachers as health workers to reach its children throughout its territories.

So, madam CARE, as in the documentary film above Eritrea can be out of your reach but Eritrean children are not out of reach by their government and its partners. I encourage you to listen carefully the documentary film prepared by the World Bank, and I advise you to use this innovative Eritrean mind in your programs elsewhere including in Africa. It is our gracious offer to you and the world as a whole from the ‘out of reach’ proud East African country, Eritrea.