As we’ve watched the devastation that hit New Orleans in 2005 we felt a multitude of emotions, sharing as one, empathy for those affected and sadness for all that they lost. It seems the past decade has been one of disasters – natural and otherwise and we respond to each one in kind. We uniformly want to do whatever we can to help and when we can’t, have the agencies that are capable of doing so, step in. Yet various humanitarian efforts are frequently looked upon as if each event occurs in a vacuum.
This series of articles written by multiple authors, illustrated by National Geographic’s typical award winning caliber photographs taken by renowned photo journalists, explores humanitarian relief efforts in our increasingly globalized world. This focus on cooperative responses is an approach that has been lacking in these difficult times.
This collection includes articles on Hurricane Katrina and the scattered inhabitants of the Gulf Coast; the tsunami that killed more than 225,000 people along the coast of the Indian Ocean and various governmental responses to the four separate crises in the region; the 6.6 magnitude earthquake in Bam, Iran killing more than 25,200 people and questions regarding the delayed receipt of promised aid; physicians risking death to save lives as part of Doctors of the World in war torn Afghanistan; and an examination of global apathy in the face of armed insurgency, massacres and rampant child abuse in Northern Uganda and UNICEF’s efforts to instill hope.
This series is a breathtaking collection of journalistic reporting, personal stories of individual’s struggles and triumphs, and photographs heart wrenching as well as inspiring. For those with an interest in efforts to relieve suffering due to natural and manmade disasters worldwide, this issue of National Geographic is a must read.