Today Syria, tomorrow Yemen – Twitter and humanitarian aid

Even if you care deeply about the world – and I like to think I do – the news flow can jump from day to day taking you to scenes of carnage in Syria and then flooding in China and so on.  Clearly, Syria tops the news agenda in terms of humanitarian crises but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other crises that deserve lots of attention.  This problem has vexed the United Nations, which is worried that places like Yemen and Afghanistan are being eclipsed and even ignored.

So how to raise money for countries that don’t command top public attention?  Well, the UN has decided that Twitter may be the answer.  And today – World Humanitarian Day, where aid workers killed in conflict zones are remembered – the UN is launching an initiative called “The World Needs More” to raise funds through Twitter for neglected countries.

Well-known entertainers will tweet a word like “strength”, “love” or “humanity” and donors will give a dollar for each re-tweet.  Beyonce and Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho will be among the celebrities participating.  Corporate sponsors will include Barclays, Intel and Gucci.



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