Well, that's not exactly Christmas Talk, now is it?

It's no secret that I am often frustrated by the media these days.

And further, that while I want to make a difference sometimes I just don't know how.

I've never promised to have the answers and I am just as guilty as the next person for settling for complacency or basking in oblivion or even pointing fingers to alleviate my share of the burden.

What I share with you today isn't an End All and it very likely will be swallowed up by the Black Hole of Information Overload (or even just Warm, Fuzzy Christmas Thoughts).

But I saw this and thought well, this is exactly what I've been asking for. So the very least I can do is spread the word. And then we can all be informed.

And we can all sit around and discuss the Congo and Somalia and Sri Lanka and say together with Dr. Fournier:

"There is no question that civilians are increasingly victimized in conflicts and further cut off from lifesaving assistance, often deliberately. In places like Sri Lanka and Yemen, where armed conflicts raged in 2009, aid groups were either blocked from accessing those in need or forced out because they too came under fire. This unacceptable dynamic is becoming the norm. Our teams on the ground are witnessing the very tangible human consequences of these crises directly, either in war zones or in the AIDS and nutrition clinics in which they work. We're therefore compelled and obligated to speak out.

— Dr. Christophe Fournier
MSF International Council President

And maybe someday, hopefully someday soon, this compelling will move from a word-spreading into an action-spreading.

And relief workers will have access to help the hurting without risking their own lives and the government will commit to spending just as much to curing AIDS or eliminating childhood malnutrition as they did for H1N1 and the world will echo a resounding call for Peace on Earth (and not just at Christmas time in a cushy church pew).

May you hear hope in the sound of jingling bells this year but may you also hear a sense of urgency.

Merry Christmas, friends. See you next year.

MSF Top 10 Humanitarian Crises of 2009

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