There's another side to the great gogglebox in the corner of our living rooms. TV - in fact British TV specifically - has been the driving force behind humanitarian work that has helped millions of the world's most desperate people. I'm the chair of trustees of the Disasters Emergency Committee, which represents the UK's leading international aid agencies when fundraising for humanitarian emergencies. The DEC has been phenomenally successful, in 67 appeals it has raised more than £1.5billion, including £352million for the Tsunami, £97million for the Philippines Typhoon and, more recently £83 million for the Nepal Earthquake appeal.
Kamal Aftab, who has died aged 33, was a youth mentor, fundraising champion and optometrist. He was also my younger brother. Originally from Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, Kamal died at Leeds' Saint James's University Hospital on the 7 August 2015 after a six-week battle against Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. My brother's passion was simple, but vast: it was the service of humanity.
What does it take to galvanise international action - and funding - for such a crisis? The great tragedy is that in South Sudan's recent history this situation is not an aberration but the norm. The last civil war lasted from 1983-2004 in which 2 million people died. The Darfur conflict, beginning in 2003, still burns away.
This time the world has institutions, practices and early-warning systems in place to encourage more far-sighted policy-making. Political leadership, however, remains trapped in national agendas, or smaller. Unless that changes, unless governments - and the publics to whom they are accountable - embrace the need to use and refresh those institutions, we will have learnt nothing from the previous, and finite, eras of peace.
It's complicated, and we face a huge challenge to attract greater funds for schooling and teaching in conflict. But that shouldn't scare us off. The needs are huge, and we must use that as inspiration, rather than as a barrier, to our ambitions. Education cannot wait in times of an emergency. We have no time to lose.
The UN is predicting that by the end of this year almost 10million people in Iraq will be in urgent need of help... Already, 1.3million children have been torn from their homes and more than three million do not have access to quality education. Children face danger on a daily basis and have witnessed unspeakable cruelties. Girls have fallen victim to enslavement and sexual violence. Children have been used as suicide bombers and as human shields. Most are living without physical protection, psychosocial support, and basic services.
"Amidst all the goodwill, inflow of material help, personnel, and pledges for the future, it struck me that the only country to have given *cash* to the Nepal Government so far is Bhutan. Its PM personally brought a check of $1 million. Then the ADB gave $3 million yesterday. From the noise in the social media, you might believe otherwise."
Today we need to head into Kathmandu and towards the epicentre. Colleagues have children they need to see. And we need to be close to the epicentre to help manage our response. The reports coming in from rural districts around the epicentre are alarming. Our staff are telling us that many, many buildings have collapsed. Homes, schools, hospitals. The hope is that since the earthquake struck on Saturday lunchtime, casualties will be minimised as fewer people would have been in public buildings.
While there has been deliberate targeting of minorities, including Christians and Yazidis, it is clear that acute need exists among people from all religious backgrounds. An estimated 2.2 million people have been displaced across Iraq in the last year and 5.2 million require humanitarian assistance.
Following my visit, I found that the amazing resilience of the local communities, working alongside truly heroic overseas medical staff and aid workers, had left an overwhelming impression on me. It is thanks to each one of them that Ebola has not reached our shores this time around. But, if the immense poverty in countries like Sierra Leone persists then there is no saying when the next outbreak of Ebola - or something equally horrific - will occur.
The well of pain runs deep in many parts of Africa, and yet it is young people who offer the best chance for true conflict resolution, and lasting peace. Conflict-affected youth are often the most ambitious, the hardest workers. They want back what was taken from them: opportunity. They want an education and they want to earn a livable wage.
Friday's Parliamentary vote on Michael Moore's Private Members' Bill is a chance for MPs to reconfirm the UK's status as a global leader in the fight against poverty. I urge them to grasp it. It is surely not too much to ask the UK to continue to give 7p in every £10 of national income to help the world's poorest people...