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Ethiopia

January 05, 1988

To add to your editorial, in which it was stated that the public is not responding to the Ethiopian need for assistance through another famine, Americans may have been able to salve their consciences on a moral basis by helping in the previous famines. What they may not realize is that helping now is much more than a moral issue. It is also a population issue. People will have more "insurance babies" when they know that many of their children will die before they see age 5.

With more children, it becomes an environmental issue. More people than an area can handle means deforestation and reckless use of the natural resources.

It becomes a political issue with people in misery turning to violence that brings terrorism and a turning to other countries not friendly to U.S. policies, a lessening of respect and declining influence. For example, this year when contributions to UNICEF were withheld, UNICEF's officials turned to the Soviet Union to enlist support for immunizing Third World children.

In understanding this cycle that develops when we do not continue to supply aid, we can more easily stay motivated against "compassion fatigue."

BARBARA MASON-URSCHEL

South Pasadena

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