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Why Give a Damn about Congo?
January 22, 2008
By Kathleen Sands Adams
|[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDOuk3g3ZmQ] Video: Emily Holland/The IRC|
|Conflict and humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo have taken 5.4 million lives since 1998, according to a survey just released by the International Rescue Committee. That's equivalent to the entire population of Denmark or the state of Colorado perishing within a decade. In fact, it's the greatest loss of life in any conflict since World War II -- and the numbers keep rising. As many as 45,000 people are dying each month.Last summer, IRC survey teams traveled across the vast country -- by motorbike, canoe, 4-wheel-drive, and on foot -- to research death in order to save lives. They visited 14,000 homes, talking to people about loved ones they lost: not just to violence, but to illnesses that no one dies from in the United States these days. People who died simply because they couldn't access basic health care. Dr. Rick Brennan, who conducted the study and manages the IRC's health programs in more than 20 countries, hopes the research will raise awareness of this "forgotten" crisis and help people understand the dire circumstances of life in Congo. "We want people to give a damn," he says. Watch this video to find out how you can get involved. To learn about how the IRC helps in Congo, visit theIRC.org/congocrisis.|
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