The Top Ten Most Underreported Humanitarian Stories of 2003

A list put together by the folks at Médecins Sans Frontières. Includes a short description of each, from the ongoing problem of malaria in Africa (1-2 million lives a year, mostly children) to the continuing problem of violence in Somalia (of 800,000+ who fled in ’91 and ’92, at least half are still refugees, according to the MSF’s list) to Russia’s own ‘war on terrorism’ (i.e., war in Chechnya).

Of course, really, this is understandable. Excusable, even—because the news media has much more interesting stories to follow, like Mel Gibson’s movie, Mars, those darn WMDs, Martha Stewart, etc. And isn’t news really just supposed to be another form of entertainment? A kind of over-the-counter drug that gives us the impression of being on top of things?

Well, and conversation fodder, too.

Take a minute (or ten) and look over the 10 most underreported humanitarian stories of this past year (still trucking away in their respective countries). With any luck, they’ll make it on to 2004’s list and we won’t have to worry about them intruding into any real news.

That would be something else.

(via How To Save The World, where you can also find a quick map of these stories, providing additional perspective on the topic)