Written by: Antonio Del Otero #teenvoices

More than 6.2 million people are in desperate need of humanitarian care in Somalia, that’s about half of Somalia’s total population. In February, the World Health Organization said that there were about 363,000+ acutely malnourished children and 70,000+ severely malnourished children needing urgent support.

So why hasn’t the world jumped on board to help save Somalia during one of it’s worst national disasters to date?

If a drought to this severe of a scale occurred in the United States or Europe, every major nation would be sending millions, if not billions, of dollars in humanitarian aid. Somalia isn’t receiving nearly this much because it’s a poor nation. Somalia is a poor nation because it has not had the opportunity and does not have the resources to industrialize itself to the scale that Western nations have industrialized to. Historically, poor nations rarely get a second glance from major world powers such as the United States, or France.

However, a beacon of hope was lit after Jérôme Jarre, along with friends Casey Neistat, Ben Stiller, and more helped launch a GoFundMe to fight the drought and famine in Somalia. Jarre posted a video, which now has over 80,000 retweets, to his Twitter page in which he started a hashtag calling for Turkish Airlines to send a plane full of food, water, and other necessities to Somalia. The hashtag #TurkishAirlinesHelpSomalia trended quickly with the help of countless Twitter users. The GoFundMe page that went along with reached a massive half-million dollars in just nine hours with help from over 17,000 donators. Now, just six days after it’s launch, the GoFundMe campaign has raised just over 2.2 million dollars by 80,000 contributors.

The drought in Somalia, which is one of the nation’s largest disasters in history, has caused one of the largest famines in Somali history. People, when banded together, can change lives for the better at a rather rapid pace. The power of social media is evident now more than ever because Somalia is receiving aid from people who may have never known about the famine if it weren’t for social media.