The vast majority of Americans are “oblivious” to the fact that more than 20 million people are on the brink of starvation in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan, and Nigeria, according to a recent survey conducted by the International Rescue Committee (IRC).
A “staggering” 85 percent of Americans simply don’t know that these nations are facing such dire shortages of food and other necessary resources, IRC discovered.
Lack of awareness, however, does not imply deliberate lack of concern, IRC is quick to observe. Once Americans are briefed on the relevant facts, the organization notes, “the issue immediately rises to a top global concern.”
IRC goes on to note that “[n]ear-famine, which is affecting 20 million people in Africa and the Middle East, is likely the least reported but most important major issue of our time,” implying that the media is at fault for not keeping such a crucial issue at the center of public discussion.
The survey also found that most Americans favor providing more humanitarian aid, not less, as President Donald Trump has proposed: 68% of registered voters agree that foreign aid from wealthy nations like the U.S. is needed now more than ever.
“Millennials [78% concerned] see humanitarian aid as a defining issue for their generation, and the United States,” IRC‘s report notes. “On nearly every measure tested in the poll, millennials are more concerned than other generations, believe it is a moral obligation for the U.S. to provide assistance, and are most willing to engage.”