Boldin and Fitzgerald call on football fans and others to support efforts to bring critically needed food and water to people in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya, and have released a public service announcement to raise awareness and funds for the region. The former teammates are both perennial Pro Bowl favorites and played together in Super Bowl XLIII. Both players are also well-known contributors to communities in need. They are exemplary role models on and off the field. This effort represents the first time the two stars have teamed up publicly to support a cause.
“This season the rains failed in many areas, causing the worst drought in 60 years,” said Boldin, who joined the Baltimore Ravens in 2010 after seven seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. “More than three months after famine was declared in Somalia the disaster in East Africa continues and help is still desperately needed.”
The July 2011 declaration of famine by the United Nations represented the official recognition of a disaster that is affecting more than 13 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. Despite brief rains falling in some areas, delivery of aid is still critical and in some cases made more difficult by the rains, which can make roads in many remote areas virtually impassable.
“In a region where life in many places depends on the ability of trucks to deliver water to remote areas, making sure aid gets there is more important now than ever,” said Fitzgerald, now in his eighth season with the Cardinals. “Anquan and I are working together with Oxfam America to keep the crisis in the public eye and ensure that critical aid gets delivered to those who need it.”
Oxfam, which has been working in the region for more than four decades, aims to reach more than three million people with aid and ongoing humanitarian development programs that protect communities’ future on the land they’ve called home for hundreds of years. Together with partner organizations who live and are from the very areas they are working in, Oxfam is both delivering critical aid and creating new models of sustainable development to create lasting change in the region.
“The situation is dire but it’s not hopeless,” said Michael Delaney, director of humanitarian response for Oxfam America. “We’re grateful for Mr. Boldin and Mr. Fitzgerald’s support, and thankful for their commitment to such an important issue. Their involvement will only help ensure that the crisis in the Horn remains a global priority.”