Dear friend, Right now, in East Africa, one of the greatest tragedies of modern times is unfolding while the world stand by and does nothing. Ahmed's case is just one amongst hundreds: "In the old days, if a man wanted to be a pirate he could get a boat and go about the place robbing innocent ships. but these days everyone is into it. There are not many innocent ships here anymore - they have all turned into pirate ships. Everyone wants flags and eye-patches and there are no longer enough to go around. The prices for these goods are rising and once we have spent our ransoms [sometimes as little as $2million per haul] on basic necessities such as satellite televisions and luxury 4x4s, we ordinary people cannot afford them. How can we capture a ship without a jolly roger to raise on deck? no-one would take us seriously" Literally thousands of families are facing choices no-one should have to make. A severe and desperate shortage of hooks, peg legs, jolly rogers, parrots and eye patches is resulting in pirates across Somalia and the Indian Ocean being forced to go on raids without basic items of equipment. Stories are emerging of some pirate ships lacking even the most rudimentary items such as daggers to hold between their teeth, while others complain of equipment shortages preventing piartes from swabbing the decks or shivering people's timbers. We can change this. By giving whatever you can afford, you will be giving hope to countless families and restoring self respect and dignity on the high seas. Your money will make a real difference - pirates dont want handouts, they just want to able to provide for their families and loved ones with pride. By robbing other people. What your money will buy Â£2 buys a pack of six hooks and six eye patches (assorted colours) to be shared amongst a crew Â£5 buys a jolly roger for the mother ship Â£10 buys a peg leg and amputation operation for a pirate captain Â£50 buys seven AK47s and enough ammunition to capture a small freighter Â£100 buys a satellite phone that will allow a whole community to phone in unreasonable ransom demands to anywhwere in the world Â£150 sends a pirate on a parrot breeding course. (buy a man a parrot and he may have a friend for a year. Teach him to breed parrots and he can keep his family and community supplied in parrots until he gets blown up by an American warship) Â£1000 buys an cave hideout with satellite television. So please, charter an oil tanker through the Gulf of Aden today and give whatever you can't afford. Send a message of hope to all those who aspire to making a dishonest living through robbery, plunder and kidnap. Do they know it's Christmas time at all? Probably not. Thank you.