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Submitted by Anonymous on
Shanta, Thank you for sharing this important information and hope of meeting the MDG goals. I agree that Africa has taken great leaps in eradicating extreme poverty since the establishment of the MDG. However, because of the extreme barriers much of Africa has to fight in order to meet the MDG, I’m afraid I don’t see their goal being met in the next 5-7 years. Although I very much hope that this is not the case, it seems that there are some very serious and deep contributing factors to the poverty crisis in Africa, specifically in Sub-Saharan Africa, that will make the MDG delayed by perhaps another 5 years after 2015. Disease, transportation opportunities, and history are not on their side. Disease is a huge barrier. Of the 1-3 million global deaths per year due to Malaria, nearly 90% of them are in Africa. The most difficult part about the Malaria problem is that the unique climate enables a more effective spread of the disease. Thick jungles and extreme humidity breed the strongest and most effective disease carrying mosquitoes the world knows. These factors make stopping the spread of the disease that much more difficult. Until something can be done to change this, millions more of Africa’s intellectual capital will continue to die. This is not even considering the AIDS deaths and the adversity this brings. Furthermore, transportation barriers continue to hinder Africa’s hopes of completing the MDG in the next 5 years. Again, natural factors contribute to the barrier. Dense jungles, rivers that can’t be navigated, and a lack of main roadways across the countries make it extremely difficult to transport goods and supplies around the nations. These hindrances to the transportation of goods will slow down any relief process. Additionally, the natural barriers found in the jungles and mountains make the development of major roadways all the more difficult, especially in an already struggling Africa. This lack of transportation of goods also very much contributes to the slow trickle of available modern technology. A third major factor that seems to me to make the MDG delayed is the history that Africa has to overcome. Many countries haven’t possessed independence from the European imperialism for very long. Some African nations were even puppets of other outside nations throughout the Cold War. Recovering from this recent liberation is not a quick process. Also, we can still see the effects that the slave trade is having on Africa’s development, even so many years after. Because of the slave trade, so much of Africa’s coasts were abandoned for more centralized living. This being realized, Africa lacks numerous vital coastal port cities as receivers of goods. Shipping and goods transportation are again hindered (although here not by natural factors). The history of struggle that Africa has faced in the past still very much effect their future hope of healthy lives, and more specifically here, reaching the MDG. I would like to say, I hope I am wrong. I hope so very much that Africa is able to receive substantial and long-term relief much sooner than expected. And, as a Christian living in America, I believe myself as well as others here who call themselves Christians should be willing to sacrifice the comfort of our own lives in order to help the people in Africa who are suffering so greatly. If so many of us call ourselves Christians in America, then so many of us should be willing to obey the teachings of Christ and reflect the compassion that God wants us to have for the poor and suffering. In the Bible the book of James even tells Christians that true religion according to God specifically includes caring for orphans and widows in their times of need. In the face of current situations, it seems that Africa has plenty of orphans and widows in need and to continue on, Christians in America most definitely have the means of which to care for them. This isn’t to say I don’t think people of all beliefs should not be helping to relieve our fellow humans in Africa; I’m just focusing on American Christians specifically because of our clear instructions to take care of those who are suffering, and unique ability to do so because of our wealth. If more professing Christian Americans were willing to obey our teachings on taking care of orphans and widows, then perhaps aspirations like the Millennium Development Goals would be completed more rapidly and effectively. I pray that alleviation will come sooner than expected for these suffering people in our world.