The NFL playoffs are about to start, but just recently players from rival squads came together to form their own team to tackle famine in East Africa. The players filmed a series of public service announcements to raise awareness about the ongoing humanitarian relief effort in East Africa.
Earlier this year massive drought struck East Africa causing extreme food shortages, starvation and mass displacement. Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and other parts of the region were impacted. The natural disaster of drought came on top of ongoing conflict in the region.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), with the Ad Council, developed the PSA series as part of its awareness campaign titled Famine, War, Drought (FWD).
USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah says, “Right now, the famine, war, and drought in the Horn of Africa is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world, impacting more than 13 million people. The worst drought in 60 years and worst famine in 20 years, has caused live stock to die and is forcing people to walk more 100 miles just to get something to eat.”
USAID, through the Food for Peace program, has sent supplies to the region to alleviate the suffering. The public has pitched in with donations to charities. But much more work needs to be done to help overcome a tragedy of this size.
The NFL is helping to raise awareness through its PSA series. The list of players featured in the PSAs include Ray Lewis, Linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens; Asante Samuel, Cornerback for the Philadelphia Eagles; Nnamdi Asomugha, Cornerback for the Philadelphia Eagles; Maurice Jones-Drew, Runningback for the Jacksonville Jaguars; Greg Jennings, Wide Receiver for the Green Bay Packers; Larry Fitzgerald, Wide Receiver for the Arizona Cardinals; Josh Freeman, Quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Lamarr Woodley, Linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers; Matt Forte, Halfback for the Chicago Bears and Jeff Saturday, Center for the Indianapolis Colts.
View a PSA here.
Please also see my commentaries:
San Francisco Chronicle: What You Can Do Today to Help End World Hunger
Patriot Ledger: History Show We Won’t Let Famine Go Unanswered.