Re'em sits in a corner behind a demolished house. Her belly aches from hunger. She holds a little piece of khobz in her tiny hand. Her mother gave it to her and she knows, this is all she will have for the day. So she does not eat it right away. She tries to make it last. Also, as soon as she eats it, her belly will ache even more. It's not enough. Not nearly enough. Two of her sisters have already starved to death. Her brother gets larger pieces of food. It's more important that he survives. She understands.
The Global Hunger Games
On the website fews.net the situation in Yemen is described like this:
In Yemen, poor and displaced households in conflict-affected governorates of Al Badya, Al Hudaydan, Ataq, Haijah, Lahij, Sa’dah, and Ta’izz are likely to remain in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) through at least March 2016. Continued active conflict restricts livelihoods, reducing access to markets, labor opportunities, and humanitarian assistance. Concern surrounding the Yemeni rial’s (YER) exchange rate with foreign currencies continues as households rely heavily on food imports and the depreciation of the rial could likely contribute to increased food prices.
And Yemen is just one of the many countries in Emergency state, their number increasing in the near future. Is there something you can do? Definitely. Is there something you have to do? Let's see.
Taking a ride down the slippery slope
In his famous thought experiment about the drowning child in a pond philosopher Peter Singer establishes that you have an equal obligation to alleviate suffering far away from you to alleviating suffering nearby if it is in your power without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance. The result would be that any time you want to spend money for your own amusement, you'd rather be obliged to giving it away to the poor until you yourself reach a monthly income not above the poorest in the world. Looking at the people involved in your extreme form of charity, you may find your children protesting. Your parents too.
What would it take for you to draw your circles a little wider?
While the outcome of this thought experiment is a little absurd and for most parts not practicable, the question remains where to draw the line. You do not have to live in poverty yourself and give away all your belongings. And nobody will force you to take care of the people on the other side of the globe. Still you could ask: What would it take for you to draw your circles a little wider?