Into Africa: A Low-Profile, High-Impact Charity

Harrison, Roger
December 2004
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs;Dec2004, Vol. 23 Issue 10, p36
The article reports on poverty elevation programs of a relief organization working for African Countries. From that continent, images of ragged African women carrying inert, staring babies, with abdomens bloated from starvation, are the common currency of television reportage. Lack of viewer interest in the plight of millions of such people is explained away with the euphemism compassion fatigue. Occasionally, however, the images of poverty beamed into the extremes of luxury produce more than a yawn and scramble for the remote. A formally constituted organization was set up as part of the Sultan bin Abdulaziz foundation and the Special Relief Committee re-named as the Africa Committee in order to bring relief to these areas. Based in Riyadh, the organization has developed the complex administrative structure needed to coordinate its many activities in eight or so countries in which it operates. The range of the committee now extends as far south as Malawi where in 1971 it was one of the first relief organizations on the scene bringing aid to flood victims and as far north outside Africa as Tajikistan.


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