“We're launching ‘We Can Be Heroes’ now because the situation in the Horn of Africa is dire, and the people there are suffering the worst drought and famine in 60 years. There is urgency to the crisis, and we want and need to help now,” Diane Nelson, the president of DC Comics, told Dowser. “We feel fundamentally that the more people know about what's happening in the Horn of Africa, the more they will want to help. DC Comics' Justice League characters are the perfect heroes to motivate awareness and action for this urgent crisis,” she added.
Critics of Western aid programs, like Dambisa Moyo, have argued that ongoing flows of aid to African countries have done nothing to reduce poverty there. The famine in the East Horn is a crisis of a deep, structural nature; it rests on pre-existing, interlocking problems such as the rule of Al-Shabaab, climate change, and agricultural-production systems that lack resilience.
What can 2 million dollars do to alleviate a crisis like that?
“I hope the campaign will draw more attention, more public awareness, and donations,” Michael Kocher, vice president of international programs at the International Rescue Committee, told Dowser. “It is difficult in situations where the onset of an emergency is slow, unlike the tsunami in Japan or the earthquake in Haiti, which got peoples’ attention very quickly,” he added. “Ethiopia was pre-provisioning livestock before the drought, which helped to avert crisis there. But without good governance and security, these preventative measures only do so much.”