In early January, 2005, three weeks after a tsunami in the Indian Ocean battered Thailand and many of its neighbours, Jan Egeland, the head of the United Nations Emergency Relief Fund, appeared to undermine his own efforts to raise funds for the crisis by reminding donors that they also had a responsibility to continue to stand by the rest of the world's poor.

"The world needs to agree that it is as terrible to starve in Darfur, Sudan, as it is to starve on the beaches of a tsunami-stricken nation," Mr. Egeland told an assembly of representatives from 70 donor countries...

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